IVF Kids are Manufactured Commodities

Dawn Davenport


infertility ethicsYes, you read the title of this blog correctly. No, I’ve not lost my mind. And even more stunning, NO, this is not fiction. An Illinois Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) has received approval from the Illinois Health Facilities and Service Review Board to locate an infertility clinic in downtown Naperville, Illinois. The location is zoned for business use, which includes medical facilities, and the local zoning commission unanimously approved the plan last month. As part of the routine planning process, the attorney for the RE appeared last week before the Naperville city council to get approval for parking, signage, and setback from the road.   The meeting, however, turned out to be anything but routine. Sixteen residents showed up to ask the city council to not approve the request because they were morally opposed to in vitro fertilization.

Mary Kizior (college senior): “By its very nature of buying and selling, IVF procedures are treating human embryos as a commodity or an industry where the women who donate their eggs are merely the suppliers. Knowingly or not, this is an industry that preys on the financial vulnerability of my female peers.”

Mary Beth and Mike Brummond (infertile couple that believes in-vitro fertilization is immoral because it takes away a child’s dignity): “This evening the City Council is not addressing questions simply of zoning, planning and property use. It’s consenting to a particular world view for the people of Naperville. Will you choose a world view in which a child is not procreated but manufactured?”

And then this threat from Matt Yonke (assistant communications director for the Pro-Life Action League): “This will be an unpleasant thing dragged into the middle of Naperville, and it will stay here as long as the clinic stays here. There will be constant protests [if you move ahead with the clinic.] You might want to tell the Apple Store [also located in downtown Naperville] to think about looking for a new location if that’s something that concerns them.”

One councilman, Bob Fieseler, was swayed by the protest. He said he not only has moral concerns, but doesn’t want to draw protests to Naperville. “I don’t think that’s the right place to have it, and I think we’re making a huge mistake. … We’ve got to ask ourselves is this a preferred use? Is this right for our community? I’m convinced it’s not.” The City Council agreed to table the issue to look into the matter further. It will return to the agenda April 3.

Oh dear! What is happening here? In vitro fertilization has been around as a treatment for infertility for 30 years, with over four million children in the world, and 800,000 children in the U.S. alone, owing their existence to this procedure. Over 150,000 IVF cycles are performed in the US each year. The 2010 Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to Dr. Robert Edwards, for his work developing IVF as a treatment for infertility. People object to all sorts of medical procedures for all sorts of reasons, but should the voices of a few govern the availability for all?

Quite a few years ago when I had more time and fewer kids I volunteered to canvas my neighborhood to raise money for one of the national cancer research/treatment organizations. While most of my neighbors politely listened to my spiel and threw a couple of bucks into the envelope, one neighbor, Marcy, gave me an earful. Her mother had died a few years back after a horrible battle with cancer made all the worse by the chemotherapy used in treatment. Marcy was vehemently opposed to the use of chemotherapy believing it was oversold to vulnerable cancer patients when there was little hope for success, robbing them of any quality of life they may have left. Not only would she never agree to chemotherapy for herself, she would never support any organization that promoted its use, and actively spoke out against its use whenever she had a chance. While Marcy is right that there are some real problems with this treatment, and I fully support her right to refuse it, I pray that her objection would never encourage my elected officials to vote against a cancer treatment facility being located in my town since I may very well choose to use this treatment if diagnosed with cancer.

While blood transfusions have some real problems (overuse by surgeons in order to lessen hospital stays, possible exposure to blood borne pathogens and diseases that we cannot yet screen for, etc.), and are opposed by some groups such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, I pray that my elected officials would never use their objections, no matter how vocal, to prevent a hospital nearby from giving me a blood transfusion if I chose to receive this treatment.

While organ transplantation have some real problems (ethical issues about how organs are assigned, concern about undue pressure on newly bereaved family members to consent to donation, etc.), and is opposed by some groups such as the Shinto who believe that injuring a dead body is a serious crime, I pray that my elected officials would not use their objections, no matter how vocal, to prevent a hospital nearby from giving me a transplant if I chose to receive this treatment.

And likewise, while in vitro fertilization has some real problems (creation of more embryos than will likely be needed, doctors transferring too many embryos, etc.) and is opposed by some groups such as the Catholic Church and some Right-to-Life groups, I pray that my elected officials and those in Naperville will not use their objections, no matter how vocal, to prevent an infertility clinic from locating nearby so that I may avail myself of this treatment.

Ms. Kizior has every right to object to soliciting egg donors, and she can work to educate her peers about her perception of this exploitation. (Note, however, that only a small percentage of infertility treatment involves donor eggs.) Mr. and Mrs. Brummond have every right to choose whatever treatment they are comfortable with for their disease. (Note that it is possible to utilize IVF without creating excess embryos, although it may be prohibitively expensive.)  They can also choose to adopt. It’s a great choice for many people, including me. But I hope the Naperville City Council will not use their objections, no matter how vocal, from preventing others from access to the treatment they choose for their disease.

Image credit: marcus_and_sue

30/03/2012 | by Dawn Davenport | Categories: Blog, Infertility, Infertility Blog | 73 Comments

73 Responses to IVF Kids are Manufactured Commodities

  1. Catherine Tucker Catherine Tucker says:

    “What may, in our estimation, look like an embryo with little chance of developing & implanting properly may in fact grow up to be a perfectly lovely person.”

    This is very true. One of my kids came from a poor quality embryo, and I know some other kids who have been born from even more poorly developing embryos.

    But it’s hard to find couples who are willing to take a chance on a poorly developing donated embryo. The costs of embryo donation, while still cheaper than a fresh IVF cycle, still run into several thousand dollars. And the female recipient has to go through all sorts of unpleasant procedures, and take unpleasant medications. Many times, these medications will include a very painful type of injection in the buttocks for weeks on end. Not many women are willing to do that for a donated embryo with a low chance of implanting. I know I wouldn’t.

  2. Catherine Tucker Catherine Tucker says:

    “Keep in mind, that there would likely be fewer poor quality embryos since young women and men are used as donors.”

    And many embryos just stop developing on their own before reaching the blastocyst stage, so those are discarded.

    “I am a little concerned about the 95% success rate”

    Those numbers don’t surprise me, if they are reporting that figure for 3 attempts. Typically, donor egg success rates after 3 attempts at a good clinic are above 90%, so that number is consistent with other reported figures. Donor egg technology truly is a dream come true for many couples.

    “I am concerned that they could be destroying the embryos that do not look to be as good quality in order to keep their success rates high.”

    It is pretty typical for clinics to only freeze the best embryos, since those are most likely to survive the thaw and also most likely to result in a pregnancy. However, clinics vary in their protocol.

  3. Jen Tang Jen Tang says:

    I am a little concerned about the 95% success rate touted by CC. I don’t know the usual stats for donor eggs and donor sperm, but that seems a bit high to me. I am concerned that they could be destroying the embryos that do not look to be as good quality in order to keep their success rates high.

  4. Christi Tipton Christi Tipton says:

    “… I think there are instances in which your personal relationship with God trumps the interpretation of the Church.” Jen Tang I couldn’t have said this better!

  5. Catherine Tucker Catherine Tucker says:

    “are the embryos split between the intended parents so that all are spoken for?”

    According to CC, not all the embryos are split between the intended parents. Rather, some are kept by CC to be later sold to other couples. This is where one of the ethical concerns with the practice comes in. This problem could be solved very simply by ensuring that all embryos are either distributed to intended parents or destroyed.

    The second ethical concern is that they are falsely advertising this procedure as embryo donation, when it really is an egg and sperm donation cycle (sometime called a double donor cycle). Double donor cycles are a perfectly legitimate family building option, so why can’t CC use the proper nomenclature?

    ” If the clinic has custody of them, how do they treat the lower quality embryos? Are they made available to recipients who are willing to give them a chance?”

    I don’t know. CC has not said. I would presume they discard them, which is the practice of most clinics, but I haven’t heard directly from CC on this topic. It is a very interesting question.

    I personally wouldn’t give CC a penny. But I don’t fault the patients who go there–I understand the desperation.

  6. Jen Tang Jen Tang says:

    I have really enjoyed this conversation and the various perspectives. I can only add my own… As Catholics, hubby and I felt God meant for us to have children and share our love with little ones. We felt He would not have given us such great parental role models and such a strong desire in our hearts if it was not meant to be. We had a serious discussion before starting IVF, that we would not let any embryos be wasted, we would let them all have a chance at life, one way or another. After a few failed attempts, we were physically and emotionally drained. We froze our remaining embryos and adopted our first child from Taiwan. After our wonderful adoption experience, we wanted to complete our family by adoption. We considered donating our embryos for adoption, but then thought that being less than ideal, they might not really get a shot. So we did one final transfer and we were not meant to conceive in this way. We then adopted our second baby boy from Taiwan. As cheesy as it sounds, I do believe that God chose our two boys from Taiwan for our family, and the timing would not have worked out properly had we not tried the ivfs and later the frozen transfers, so I have no regrets and feel that our path was completely led by God. Some may blast me for this, but I think there are instances in which your personal relationship with God trumps the interpretation of the Church. Anyway, I am happy to see families formed in whatever way they can. I believe it’s all God’s work! And who are we to judge anyone else? Is that really what Jesus would do?

  7. Christi Tipton Christi Tipton says:

    You know, I have some ethical questions about the way they run their operation BUT I think I said before, or maybe I just talked about it with my husband, that if it were me when we first started our ttc journey, we probably would have opted to use them too! Regardless of how the embryos are created, they are STILL babies in waiting, hopefully! And growing into beautiful, loved and adored members of their family is to be celebrated. Lyn, I wish you the best and hope you have the family of your dreams and like Dawn, I hope you continue to share with us. I think you have more support here than you think.

  8. Scott John Scott John says:

    I would hope that the bulk of people are supportive no matter what path families choose. We went to Prague for egg donation ourselves, and were glad that most folks didn’t see fit to judge us.

  9. Whole Child Whole Child says:

    Lyn Wiltse Jameyson, I just want to see your family get their baby! I would give you eggs, be your surrogate…short of giving you my child! lol! You have waited a long time, and I can’t wait to see the day your son becomes a big brother!

  10. Scott John Scott John says:

    Well said! I am pretty loathe to judge anyone, whatever path they take to start a family… OK, maybe I draw the line at kidnapping 🙂

  11. Misty Snow Misty Snow says:

    Fortunately in this country we have a right to freedom of religion as well as freedom of speech. However, that does not give anyone the right to force their religious views on anyone else!

  12. Jennifer Michalik Olson Jennifer Michalik Olson says:

    Kelley – I was going to add what Catherine did. It has already happened. There were several threads about it a month or two back.

    I really appreciate your argument and while I don’t agree with everything the Catholic Church teaches, I think that they are very consistent in their support of life from conception to natural death.

  13. Catherine Tucker Catherine Tucker says:

    “However, I would be very disturbed if someone opened up a business creating embryos to sell them.”

    It’a already happened 🙁

  14. Whole Child Whole Child says:

    Also, playing the cancer card and acting like you have a monopoly on grief and loss b/c you have suffered the loss of your mother to cancer, while pushing your own agenda on a group of people is low. Every person in this group has experienced grief and loss, and a lot of us have experienced the loss of loved ones to cancer, and we still disagree on the religious issues.

  15. Whole Child Whole Child says:

    Kelley Star O’Donnell Farmer, I can relate, and my first reaction to punch the person in the face was certainly not “what Jesus would do.” lol! There are many things I truly love about the Catholic church, such as their heart for social justice…my husband is Catholic…there are also many things I very much disagree with. What made me angry to begin with was that the person was trying to make this a religious issue at all and push personal religious beliefs on all of us. We should be uniting to support each other around common grief and loss, not attacking each others religious beliefs.

  16. Scott John Scott John says:

    I am an atheist, but I have no issue at all with Kelley having moral issues with various ART methods. I do think IVF is less wasteful than other choices because you have control over how many eggs you decide to fertilize. It may not be financially efficient, but you could choose to fertilize one at a time and implant it, entirely avoiding any embryos that were discarded.
    As long as folks aren’t pushing their own views onto other folks, I will be first in line defending their right for control over their own lives and bodies.
    In our case we had to sit down and really talk about what we were comfortable with in this process. There are certainly moral and ethical considerations regardless of your religion (or lack thereof).
    I don’t have a particular problem with donor embryos, rather than creating them for the sole purpose of selling them… I also would rather see a sophisticated “embryo bank” where folks could allow their leftover frozen ones be adopted out (even for a fee like regular adoption).

  17. Whole Child Whole Child says:

    I’ve been thinking about this all day, and the thing that bothers me most about Marie’s comment is that she is taking two issues that ALL women should be uniting around: breast cancer and infertility…because ALL women can relate to the pain and loss of those issues in some way or another…and she is using those issues to push her religious agenda on us and dividing us. We have all been touched by these horrible monsters in one way or another, and an infertility support group, of all places, is NOT the place to push your religious agenda on others in the face of such tremendous grief and loss.

  18. Christi Tipton Christi Tipton says:

    wow ignorance knows no bounds! Promethian had a fantastic response. I’m among those who first wanted to say a few inappropriate words. Marie kind of reminds me of the lady in a department store one time who overheard me telling my sister I was getting ready to start taking clomid. She butt in to tell me she sure hoped I wasn’t going to be the next woman giving birth to a ‘litter of kids’. This was years ago, and I’m sure her ears are still stinging from the tongue lashing I gave her. Maybe we should cut her a little slack tho. It’s gotta be painful to have such a small mind – no wonder she lashes out like that!

  19. Scott John Scott John says:

    Promethian probably comes from Canada or Australia. Difference in adoption circumstances I suspect.
    In Canada there are a large number of children in government care that are available for adoption, but they are mainly severely special needs which isn’t a possibility for everyone to take on (kudos to those who can).
    We were told when we tried that they try to place them in families with other siblings so that there is a care plan for the rest of their lives as they will need full-time care as adults.
    The agencies where I am put right on their websites that you have to expect about an 8 year wait for a healthy child, even if you aren’t limiting yourself to an infant.

  20. Whole Child Whole Child says:

    Wow is right! It’s a good thing “marie” is not here in my living room b/c I would have to punch her. I have watched my mother struggle through breast cancer and die so I know a thing or two about what a disease is…and I know a thing or two about loss…and infertility is a loss, just like breast cancer, and Marie is “just stupid” like the Pope! So there! And it’s not so easy to “just adopt,” and if she feels that passionately about it why doesn’t she sign away her parental rights and let me adopt one of her kids?

  21. Scott John Scott John says:


  22. Kelli Maxwell Killian Kelli Maxwell Killian says:

    Wow, I think I need to think about that comment before I respond!! My initial response probably wasn’t appropriate.

  23. Misty Snow Misty Snow says:

    Wow! Just wow!

  24. Shawna Smith Shawna Smith says:

    It goes back to educating people that infertility is a disease, just like any other condition. And the treatment for it is full of different choices and options just like any other medical condition.

  25. Melanie Kristine Joy Seier Melanie Kristine Joy Seier says:

    Wow…I can’t even read past the title w/out my blood boiling…this is not even a fight I want to take on at this point…

  26. Avatar Janet S. says:

    Oh this is disheartening. I’m disturbed that that couple thinks IVF takes away a child’s dignity! That’s extreme, and shallow.

  27. Avatar Kristina G. says:

    well, yes. but they have beefy bodyguards that don’t allow loitering, so i can’t imagine they’ll be very tolerant of these cock-eyed picketers. these people sound nuts.

  28. Avatar Kristina G. says:

    what an outrage, though something tells me the apple store could care less … 😉

  29. I would take the chance. In fact, I did. The embryo we recieved was perfect looking after thawing but he was a single embryo & we weren’t the first couple on the least. He was turned down by at least 1 other couple who wasn’t willing to take a chance on single embryo transfer. They’re probably happy with that choice as he didn’t implant, but my husband and I aren’t unhappy with our choice either. In fact, I’m working on lowering my weight so more clinics will consider us as potential recipients so we can try again someday (assuming we don’t complete our family through foster care adoption first). And I’ll bet I’m not the only one who would take that chance, but as with all embryo donation situations, the chance has to be offered.

  30. Another thing to think about is that we humans are terribly inefficient at reproduction. An amazingly high percentage of embryos that are formed in the woman’s body do not implant and grow to become a baby.

  31. I’d rather they give the embryos that are of low quality away than destroy them. I hope they do that. We don’t fully understand embryos yet. Our estimation of quality isn’t a well developed system. What may, in our estimation, look like an embryo with little chance of developing & implanting properly may in fact grow up to be a perfectly lovely person. And then there are cases like our adopted embryo which was textbook perfect looking (no visible fragmentation!), originally created for another parent through a double donor cycle, and never implanted. There’s just too much unknown & too much at stake. That’s why I think embryos should have intended parents before creation. Parents look at things differently than clinics do. Doesn’t always mean the outcome will be different, but sometimes an emotional connection is necessary to keep things as ethical as possible.

  32. Kelley, I have not read or heard what they do with poor quality embryos. As I understand it, CC is the “owner” of the embryos that are created with the donor sperm and eggs, so it is their choice what to do. Keep in mind, that there would likely be fewer poor quality embryos since young women and men are used as donors.

  33. Marie – I had to read your post and then get up, walk away and come back to organize my thoughts.

    First of all I am so sorry your mother suffered through Breast Cancer. No one should have to go through that or witness that – not even you.

    Cancer is such a hideous disease, its equal opportunity, good people, and bad people develop the disease of cancer like any other myriad of diseases that are out there. And I am of the mind that God, Jehovah, Buddha, Allah, Jesus, Yahweh, Adonai, Bahá, or whatever high-power you believe in doesn’t cause anyone to develop Cancer or any other of the thousands of diseases that run rampant on our earth – and yes Marie “Infertility” is a disease.

    The World Health Organization defines infertility as a disease of the reproductive system. “One third (30%) of infertility can be attributed to male factors, and about one third (30%) can be attributed to female factors. In about 20% of cases infertility is unexplained, and the remaining 10% of infertility is caused by a combination of problems in both partners.”

    Like Diabetes, Cancer, or Cardiovascular disease Infertility doesn’t care who you are it strikes without prejudice. Did you know for instance Marie that if your mother had developed Cancer in her reproductive years most likely the eggs in her ovaries that she was born with would most likely be wiped out by all the chemotherapy and or radiation? Are you saying Marie that the Cancer your mother developed would have been nature’s way of preventing her to reproduce? And possibly not have the ability to have you?

    That’s as stupid and makes as much as sense as the yahoo Rep. Todd Akin, who justified his opposition to abortion rights even in case of rape with a claim that victims of “legitimate rape” have unnamed biological defenses that prevent pregnancy. Come, on really? We all know, Marie, even yourself that there is no such thing as legitimate rape. Rape is rape. And infertility, well it’s infertility, which is a horrific disease.

    Your mother however, thankfully had the use of medicine and technology to save her life – why would you begrudge a woman who would like nothing more than to become a mother deny her that chance because she chooses to use IVF or egg donation as a treatment?

    If you truly are touting the survival of the fittest then please don’t take yourself, or any member of your family to a physician for care when they are ill or hurt – let them heal on their own and if they die, well then they weren’t meant to be on this earth and they for sure aren’t meant to grow up, partner, and propagate their DNA.
    It’s pretty apparent you don’t have a single solitary idea or clue about adoption. You don’t just waltz into an adoption agency and say “give me a baby”. It’s a long, laborious process that takes months even years. Did you know that there are way more couple who so desperately want to adopt than there are children WORLD WIDE than there are available for adoption. That is why Marie that you find people traveling the globe to adopt children. The expense is crazy. And don’t even get me started on the red tape.

    Please for yourself, and for the rest of the women in the world who are sadly close minded and uneducated as yourself – do some research, go out of your comfort zone, educate yourself, learn about what true diseases are – and before you decide to troll on boards that do work hard educating and supporting do your homework first and think before you post.

    That would be the polite thing to do.

    • Avatar Dawn says:

      Marna, I could just hug you right now! For those of you who don’t know, Marna is the Director of one of my favorite support groups –Parents via Egg Donation.

  34. Oh… And if it’s the former, are the embryos split between the intended parents so that all are spoken for? Dawn’s blog seemed to indicate that’s not the case, but I wanted to check. If the clinic has custody of them, how do they treat the lower quality embryos? Are they made available to recipients who are willing to give them a chance?

  35. Ok. Just trying to see how this works at California Conceptions… Are they getting a group of recipients together and then spreading the cost of creating embryos from donor egg & sperm for them or are they creating embryos with the hope that there will be couples that want to parent them (admittedly, right now that would be a safe bet)? If it’s the latter, what do they do with the embryos that are “extra” (created but with no one to claim them… Possibly because there were more successes than foreseen with that batch or the embies are of lower quality than expected) assuming there are any? Just looking for further info.

  36. Lyn, I hope you’ll change your mind about not posting updates. I for one would love to hear your progress.

  37. This is responding to some comments on the article about California Conceptions, but I think it’s relevant here, too. For the record, the CC fee covers 3 transfer cycles (not just one), so the facility is not necessarily “raking in the dough” the way some were fearing. Honestly, I think that the fees for traditional IVF and traditional adoption tread much further into the unethical category. For my husband and I, who have been through the wringer trying to figure out how to complete our family with limited time left, finding the CC program has been a God-send. We have been nothing but impressed with their kindness and care so far, which we have not felt with other places (both fertility centers and adoption agencies), and we are thrilled to be working with them. I understand from what I’ve read here that quite a few of our CAF members do not agree with using their program, so I probably won’t post any further updates regarding our progress. But I at least wanted to share the minority voice of support for this program. Blessings to all of you, regardless of which path to parenthood is right for you!

  38. I believe two of the protesters that were interviewed by the press were an infertile couple.

  39. Julie Molloy Julie Molloy says:

    I’m guessing the protesters have never experience infertility & nobody in their family has experienced it. I know so many wonderful, ethical, regular old people who have given birth to really great, regular old kids through IVF…guessing the protesters know some too…they’re just unaware.

  40. Here’s a link to the blog/discussion about the facility in California that is creating embryos from donor egg and sperm without specific intended parents. https://creatingafamily.org/blog/infertility-fertility-trying-to-conceive-ivf-donor-egg/creating-embryos-specifically-donatesell/

  41. Kelley: “there are some ethical issues with IVF that do need to be recognized and dealt with… things that do make people who are considering it a bit hesitant as well as the community as a whole.” I couldn’t agree with you more. For a long time, I’ve been preaching to the the infertility professional community that we/they (don’t know whether an educator and supporter like myself would be included in “professional”) need to regulate ourselves very carefully because we are dealing with life-regardless if you call it potential life, pre-life, or life, an embryo is more than a lump of tissue. I don’t know how I feel about outside regulation. It is so very hard to draft legislation with a fine enough brush to include all the nuances that infertility treatment presents. My fear is that well intentioned regulations might prohibit some useful treatment for this disease. I am equally bothered however by the cavalier attitude some have. And as Catherine pointed out the creation of donor egg/donor sperm embryos without specific intended parents in mind has already happened. In fact, the ASRM Ethics Committee is discussing it this month (I believe).

  42. Wow. I really didn’t expect that anyone would try out and out selling embryos. I just thought it was a given that everyone would see the benefit for embies having parents who want them from the get go. I mean, it’s always been a possibility, but I didn’t think anyone would do that. 🙁

  43. Oh yeah… The cancer card was a low blow. Part of our infertility issues were due to cancer. Where would that leave a couple like us in her estimation??? Living in a secular society as a person of faith has always been a balancing act. There are limits that you want to set because you feel it’s just completely wrong, but then you have to take a step back and ask whether those limits make sense for a pluralistic society. Some do. I don’t care if anyone is pro-murder. I want laws against that. That’s an easy one for most people… most things aren’t that straight forward. But, that’s where democracy comes in. Perhaps instead of an elected official making that decision for the whole, the community should have had a vote. If the majority of people agreed with those protesting the clinic, than maybe the clinic is wrong for their community (and realistically probably wouldn’t have enough patients to stay afloat anyway, in that case). If the community wanted the clinic, than it should be allowed to stay. Not a perfect solution, but I think it makes more sense than shutting it down without giving the community as a whole a chance to weigh in.

  44. I’m all for adopting embryos. My husband and I did adopt an embryo from a woman who used donor egg and sperm to build her family. Embryo adoption is still something the church is looking at and something I wholly believe is a very good thing. However, I would be very disturbed if someone opened up a business creating embryos to sell them. Luckily, I think that’s not something many proponents of IVF technology would like to see either, so in all likelihood, it would never happen. However, I know that the idea makes people uneasy about IVF. Embryo banks kinda sorta do exist. There’s a place in Knoxville, TN called National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC) that matches recipients with embryos that have been donated to them. I wish I qualified for their program :(.

  45. Lisa Miller Lisa Miller says:

    I’m curious as to if these people showed up to this meeting on a horse? We’re they aware of how many times they would have been dead, no, it might have been god’s will that they die. I can count at least three times I might have well died but didn’t because of medicine.

  46. Hmm… As a Catholic who watched her mom die of cancer and is infertile, I’m feeling a bit beat up from all sides here :(. Catholicisim isn’t a bad horrible and oppressive religion. We have a philosophy of social justice that has been developed over hundreds of years and is quite comprehensive, for example. It doesn’t mean that we get everything right. But, there are some ethical issues with IVF that do need to be recognized and dealt with… things that do make people who are considering it a bit hesitant as well as the community as a whole. For instance, it can be incredibly wasteful. Embryos get created regularly that are deemed unable to live past a certain point and are disposed of. I know my hesitancy towards the procedure would be helped a lot if it improved to the point where we could look at both egg and sperm before creating embryos to determine their health and cut down on the amount of unviable ones created. Also, ethically speaking, though I don’t think this is happening anywhere right now, it’s possible to create embryos from donor egg and sperm and sell them to couples… people who didn’t direct their creation in any way… kind of like an embryo storefront… the real commodification of children. I don’t know if there are any laws preventing this. I do know that would be abominable and that people fear that will happen some day. It would be helpful to know those laws exist, if they do, and if they don’t, maybe those laws should be written. Oh. And I don’t think you’ll find too many people (Catholics included) who don’t see infertility as a disease that needs to be treated. Needless to say, I don’t need to go into what I think if Marie’s statement >:(. There are Catholic facilities that treat infertility. Not many, but they exist. They just don’t use “traditional” methods (IVF, IUI, etc.). For cases like mine and my husband’s, their treatments wouldn’t be effective, but in our case, our “traditional” treatments weren’t effective either, so… And, of course, Catholics have been proponents of (and, in certain eras, really botching things up with) adoption for decades. Now, do I think the Catholic Church will ever approve of IVF? No. We have some really strict thinking around marriage theology. I’ve talked too much here, so I’m going to leave that there (takes too long to explain and I’m no good at explaining that one anyway). Suffice to say, yes. The Catholic Church disagrees with using IVF, but right or wrong, the Church puts a lot of thought into things. It doesn’t disagree for “stupid” reasons. Just as there are reasons for opting for IVF, there are reasons for an organization to advise against it. Should anyone be out protesting and shutting down infertility clinics? In my humble itty bitty opinion, no, but maybe I am being a hypocrite here… A hypocrite blinded by her love of cute little babies and want for more of them to be in the world?

  47. Dawn, LOL. Yeah, a much better response than what I was writing in my head too.

  48. Promethian is my new best friend! Much better response than the one that was brewing in my head!

  49. Avatar Rebekah says:

    my husband and I chose not to go through infertility treatments, but that was for us. If someone else wishes to go that route then that is their choice. Actually, there are diseases other than cancer that exist in this world. And FYI, cancer can cause infertility by affecting reproductive organs and treatments. We went the adoption route and I’m an advocate for adoption, but just like becoming a parent is not for everyone, neither is adoption. You should not adopt if it isn’t in your heart to do so. It’s not fair to the child.

    IVF is a medical treatment and I believe that all medical issues should be left to the patients and their doctors. Infertility is NOT about preventing your genetics from entering the world. If you have that point of view, then I’m assuming that you also avoid ALL medical treatments of any kind. If you become ill and then die that’s the same thing then. According the Merriam-Webster dictionary: “a disease is a condition of the living animal or plant body or one of its parts that impairs normal functioning and is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms. Since in infertility there are many factors that can impair its functioning, it can be considered a disease. Cancer, while unbelievably horrible, is NOT the only disease that exists in the world.

    Children are not commodities regardless of how they enter your family. You could say the same thing about adoption then. Unless you go through foster care, you are required to pay fees. In a perfect world, all people who should be parents and want to be parents would have children via the natural process and those parents would be around for the duration of their children’s lives. And those who would shouldn’t be parent and/or do not want to be parents would never have children. But that’s not the way it works. Also, children who are adopted have “real parents” when they are born and when they are adopted they have “real parents”. My daughter’s birth parents aren’t any less real that my husband and I. We do not know them and may never meet them, but we are honored beyond belief with the privilege of being able to raise DD.

  50. Kelli, I felt the same way. I needed to cool down and organize my thoughts.

  51. Avatar Promethian says:

    #1. Infertility is a disease, it is defined as such by the World Health Organization. Believe it or not, they are the body that gets to decide if something is a disease… not you.
    #2. Using your own logic, if you or anyone you love have ever made use of a doctor or hospital for medical care… you are keeping certain DNA and genetics in the population that “shouldn’t be there.”
    #3. An addition to the above point, your mother who almost died from breast cancer was “supposed” to die, it was nature’s way of culling the herd. Instead you let medical technology interfere with the natural order of things. Saying that is OK in your own circumstance, but not OK for people wanting children is entirely hypocritical and illogical. You can’t have it both ways… if you have children, the next time they have an ear infection… don’t give them medicine. If they are meant to propagate their DNA they will live on their own, otherwise oh well… wasn’t meant to be. That is nature baby… 50% infant mortality is “natural”.
    #4. You clearly have no idea about adoption. There are MANY more couples who want to adopt than there are children available for adoption. That is why people have to travel halfway around the world to find a child. It is also VERY expensive (around $40,000 in most jurisdictions), and takes years to get through the red tape and get a placement.

    • Avatar Dawn says:

      Promethian, YOU GO GIRL! All I can say is ditto. (Well, since it’s me, I guess I can and will say more.) While it is true that some forms of infertility might have a genetic component, it is also true that some forms of breast cancer have a genetic component. So, if Marie is truly worried about keeping the human DNA pure, shouldn’t she volunteer to be sterilized since she might be passing on the breast cancer gene. I realize the logic here isn’t perfect, but honestly, where is her compassion?!?

      Promethian, the only thing I would take slight issue with in your wonderful response was #4. While it is true that there are many more would-be adoptive parents than there are “healthy” newborns to be placed, there are about 107,000 children (mostly school aged–average age is 8) currently waiting for adoptive families in the US foster care system. The cost is $0, in fact almost all will receive a monthly subsidy until age 18 to help the family defray costs. Also, you were a tad high on the average cost of a domestic infant adoption in the US (better estimate is low to mid $30Ks) but that is a minor quibble with your stellar response.

  52. Avatar marie says:

    Sarah, you are dumb, not the Pope, my dear. And Shawna, infertility is not a disease. Until you have watched your mother suffer through breast cancer, have both of her breast removed and almost die, don’t talk about “diseases”. Infertility is not a disease. IT is nature’s way of keeping certain genetics and dna in the human race. And, if you can’t reproduce, then that means your genetics need to stop where they are… If anyone wants to really be a parent and not use having a biological baby to make themselves feel better about their inadequacy, then try adopting a child or baby who has no parents and needs a real mother and father. It is all the IVFers who are ignorant and naive…..and have no concern for the world or anyone but themselves. It isnt about being a parent….it’s about having a baby as a commodity. I’m hoping it will be banned soon

  53. Avatar AmeliaRose says:

    Wow! People never cease to amaze me with their idiocy and ignorance and madness. What next, ban organ transplantation for the same reason, chemotherapy because it’s ‘not natural’, etc?

  54. Bev Gunn Bev Gunn says:

    Can this be attributed to the same person who wanted to know why airplane windows didn’t roll down??

  55. Avatar Sarah says:

    Well, the dumb guy who is now pope wrote this document showing his lack of knowledge: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19870222_respect-for-human-life_en.html

    I assume that most of the people who are objecting are Catholic, although most Catholics in general wouldn’t share their beliefs.

    • Avatar Dawn says:

      Sarah, although the Catholic church has been very vocal in their support of “personhood” legislation, they are by far not the sole supporters of personhood legislation.

  56. AdoptInTX said:

    It’s somewhat scary that people really feel this way. IVF taking away a child’s dignity??? Surely this belief is based on their lack of knowledge. Goodness, I can’t imagine what these folks would say about embryo adoption!

    [[Comment imported from blog] at 6:26 am on April 11, 2012]

  57. Avatar AdoptInTX says:

    It’s somewhat scary that people really feel this way. IVF taking away a child’s dignity??? Surely this belief is based on their lack of knowledge. Goodness, I can’t imagine what these folks would say about embryo adoption!

  58. AdoptInTX said:

    It’s somewhat scary that people really feel this way. IVF taking away a child’s dignity??? Surely this belief is based on their lack of knowledge. Goodness, I can’t imagine what these folks would say about embryo adoption!

    [[Comment imported from blog] at 6:26 am on April 11, 2012]

  59. Avatar Lee says:

    Thank you for a thoughtful exploration of this unexpected, dismaying development in Naperville. I especially appreciate the way you draw comparisons between infertility treatment and other therapies, because I think that makes the point solidly. Those who object to IVF should never seek or receive that medical treatment, but it is a life-giving godsend for many of us. Live and let live.

  60. Avatar CC says:

    Hello, I simply wanted to take time to make a comment and say I have really enjoyed reading your site. I learn so much. I never in a million yrs would have thought that people would object to IVF. It seems the opposite of abortion to me, so why protest. thanks for being the best news source for us in infertility.

  61. Avatar geochick says:

    Maybe he should’ve tried for a strip club? I know that’s flippant, but this is ridiculous. Our neighborhood recently experienced the ‘voice of the few’ successfully shutting down a small business restaurant before it even got off the ground. Guess what? A similar type reataurant recently won approval to go into the space with no opposition. It’s a mediocre chain. Sometimes, I hate the voice of the few.

  62. Avatar anon wp says:

    OK, my tolerance for people using their superior morality as a basis for why they should get to limit others’ choices is really getting thin now.

    Taking these people one by one:
    “Knowingly or not, this is an industry that preys on the financial vulnerability of my female peers.”
    Ah, I see. This implies victimization of the women who act as egg donors. Way to pick up the avenging hero mantle for yourself. I’m sure there are some groups that are unethical in their practices, but I’m also just as sure that many egg donors are making informed, free choices. Making blanket statements like that is patronizing (oh, my female peers just don’t see their danger!) and ill-informed. By all means, educate people and yourself and get involved in reform efforts, but shutting down one clinic won’t make a dent in this particular problem.

    “Will you choose a world view in which a child is not procreated but manufactured?”
    Sooo…are you saying that children who are products of IVF are less valued and less valid than those who aren’t? I’m impressed by your ability to put down so many individuals, both the parents and the children, in one simple statement. That takes skill. Incidentally, Merriam-Webster defines procreation as “to beget or bring forth (offspring)”. Ain’t no need for sex to be part of the deal for those lexicographers.

    Sticking with the Brummond’s for a moment: “It’s consenting to a particular world view for the people of Naperville.”
    Let’s make a deal: The council won’t require every person in Naperville to use or endorse the clinic’s services, and in return, you will allow people their own free choice/will in decided whether to use the clinic’s services. That way, no one’s worldview is imposed on anyone else, not yours and not mine.

    Moving on:
    “This will be an unpleasant thing dragged into the middle of Naperville, and it will stay here as long as the clinic stays here.”
    Dude, seriously, civil discourse works when you actually have some sort of argument that justifies your request. This right here, this tantrum-based argument, ain’t winning you points. It makes me want to push for a multi-clinic IVF complex in town. Also, I believe Apple has IVF coverage for its employees as well as a generous adoption leave and benefit package. I somehow doubt they would enjoy being made a part of your little rant and threat.

    People have a right to protest and speak their minds. I have no problem with that, and if I did, I’d just have to suck it up since the First Amendment exists in this country. I can also believe that there are legitimate points of disagreement about whether the clinic should be in downtown Naperville, but they sure aren’t being made here. Instead, this is just one more event to add to a lot of recent stories and incidents that seem to be focused on limiting people’s ability to make reproductive choices for themselves. It annoys me that some day soon I may have to pick up my own protest sign and go out my door to act as a counterweight to these folks. I thought these issues were put to bed a long time ago, and there are things I would rather spend my time doing than re-fighting old battles.

  63. Avatar loribeth says:

    @Michelle, it would be nice if IVF patients showed up & spoke out or counter-demonstrated. Sadly, there is still so much pain & stigma attached to infertility — and incidents like this one are one more reason why many couples prefer not to go public with their problems. I can’t say I blame them, although I know things won’t change until more of us start speaking out. 🙁

  64. Avatar tera says:

    Thank you for posting this Dawn. Just another reason we need to keep speaking out about IVF as a medical cure for infertility and force insurances and company plans to cover it. This is so ridiculous to think it is something immoral. Are we living in the dark ages?

  65. Avatar Michelle says:

    Apparently they were organized in the “objection” camp. No one expected it for the fertility clinic. I wonder how many IVF patients from Naperville will appear on principle or people organized by fertility clinic will show up on April 3rd to speak their piece. It could either die down as an issue or become explosive. You know the “objection” camp will be there. BTW, Naperville is a suburb of over 100,000 people and affluent.

  66. Kristina Grish, I’m not so sure. People are so afraid of controversy.

  67. Kristina, I really don’t think they are nuts. There are legitimate reasons to not want to do IVF or to promote the recruitment of egg donors. What I object to is that they want to make it harder for others to choose something different from them. Hey, I didn’t know Apple had beefy bodyguards at their stores. Hummm, another good reason to get an iPhone. 🙂

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