I think I deserve a pat on the back for not calling this post “Newt is an Ass”. Newt Gingrich, the disgraced former speaker of the House that was pushed out in a ground–breaking censure by his own colleagues for ethics violations, is somehow inexplicably an actual contender for President of the United States of America. Yes, in America we (at least some of us) love mediocrity – we love presidents that drop out of college and can’t even fulfill their obligations to their constituents. I literally think I’m getting a repeated use injury from rolling my eyes this election cycle. I don’t even know what I’ll do if November actually elects one of these degenerates.
Newt recently weighed in on IVF and the “problem” of excess embryos. He said;
[box]I believe life begins at conception, and the question I was raising was what happens to embryos in fertility clinics, and I would favor a commission to look seriously at the ethics of how we manage fertility clinics. If you have in vitro fertilization, you are creating life; therefore, we should look seriously at what the rules should be for clinics that are doing that, because they are creating life.[/box]
First off, I completely agree that life begins at conception. I certainly think my IVF cycle created 17 lives – 13 of which arrested and died. Three of which were frozen. I think those frozen embryos are my children – unique individual souls. Two of them are now my flesh and blood sons while I have one more snowflake baby in cryo.
That’s what I believe. Yeah, me.
I certainly don’t think that *my* beliefs should be forced on every other person in this free society. There are plenty of people who see an embryo as a potential life only and as human tissue not a human being. Since I also believe in religious freedom and individual medical choice I would never dream of forcing my beliefs on others.
Because, don’t be fooled. This is 100% an abortion issue. The only reason Newt pretends to care about IVF embryos or stem cell research is it strengthens his argument to control womens’ choice to have an abortion. I detest the attempt by the religious right to control my body.
I detest even more politicians bringing infertile couples into their political posturing. We’ve been through enough, thanks. Why don’t you go call a pro-lifer a baby killer and get out of the infertility discussion. (not that doing so isn’t also douche-y).
What Newt is apparently ignorant of is the existing, heavy regulation that governs IVF and embryology labs.
Furthermore, I take offense at his remark that “if you do IVF, you are creating life.” First off, DUH. We are infertile we know more about the quest to create life than he could ever hope. Second, NO. Mainly, when you are doing IVF, you are treating a medical disorder. IVF isn’t some spa treatment like the latest chemical peel. It is a medical treatment for a medical disease.
The flippant way that he discusses this sounds like he thinks we are randomly pumping out embryos for fun. I’m sure he thinks women who have abortions are doing it for fun too. The general lack of understanding about the HUGE physical and emotional difficulty of an IVF cycle really does a disservice to infertile couples. Even if you are of the belief that an embryo is just tissue it is some pretty damn important tissue after the weeks of shots, dildocams, and half your life savings.
It is absurd to assume that patients or doctors would treat that tissue with anything but the greatest care and reverence.
I don’t think that further government scrutiny or regulation is a positive thing. Look at the countries that have created more stringent laws about embryo creation. In Italy or Sweden, for example, my precious boys would not have been possible because embryo cryopreservation is illegal. Women must transfer all created embryos – up to 3 – even if they are 28 years old and otherwise fertile. The chances of multiple pregnancy increases exponentially while patients are forced to do repeated fresh cycles which are exponentially harder on the woman’s body. Some studies even show that cryo-embryos have a higher success rate because the woman’s body isn’t near overstimulation during a FET cycle.
Countries like the UK, Australia, France, and Germany all regulate by federal law their IVF more that the US – HOWEVER, they also cover it with their glorious socialized medical coverage. In the US IVF is considered “experimental” and “elective” like a nose job (see, there goes that repetitive use injury). If you are going to force a woman to only create 3 embryos (because you can’t freeze) or only transfer 1 embryo (despite your doctor’s advice) then it should only be when that woman isn’t paying $20,000 for their one and only chance to conceive.
If Newt, or any other political candidate, wants to discuss IVF they need to learn about the Disease of Infertility and the Treatment of IVF and not just discuss it as an afterthought from some pro-life argument. Otherwise, please shut up.