Tag: "IVF"

Wounded Vets Don’t Need Taxpayer Funded IVF
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Wounded Vets Don’t Need Taxpayer Funded IVF

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I’ll be in DC this week for a bunch of meetings, mostly speaking with people about a bill that provides $3.4 billion in additional care for vets. I am involved because the bill currently includes an amendment to provide IVF benefits to wounded vets. These sorts of policy battles always start out with a rough […]

In an Industry that Makes People, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
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In an Industry that Makes People, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

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Sperm donation, egg donation and surrogacy: Third party reproduction seems to be a “done deal” in Western society. Even ardently pro-life people do not seem to see the problems. Hey, these techniques are making babies, not killing them. So what could possibly go wrong? A lot of things can go very wrong. Let me describe […]

Surrogacy's Incredibly Dark Side
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Surrogacy’s Incredibly Dark Side

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The hidden camera footage reveals the Indian restaurant is crowded, and the ambient noise of fellow diners all around makes it hard to hear. But Gianna Toboni, an investigative reporter from HBO’s documentary show VICE, slowly begins to understand what is being offered to her by a woman sitting across the table. Toboni is in India to […]

U.S. Panel OKs Three-Parent Embryos with Sex Selection
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U.S. Panel OKs Three-Parent Embryos with Sex Selection

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Last week a committee of scientists and ethicists have recommended to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that they approve three-parent embryo techniques for use in IVF in the United States. The committee calls it mitochondrial replacement techniques (MRT) because the goal is too “replace” defective mitochondria in woman with mitochondrial disease so they do […]

Sperm Donation: A Seedy Enterprise
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Sperm Donation: A Seedy Enterprise

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In 2011, Yale sociologist Rene Almeling published Sex Cells: The Medical Market for Eggs and Sperm, a fascinating book that details how sperm and egg banks do business. Of particular interest are the different ways potential sperm and egg donors are marketed to during the recruitment process. Egg donors are told they are “an angel” […]

When Child Custody Battles Move to the Lab
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When Child Custody Battles Move to the Lab

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I have to confess, I hadn’t heard of Sofia Vergara or her ex-fiance, Nick Loeb, until the frozen embryo custody battle broke in the news. For those, like me, who aren’t familiar with these two, Vergara is an actress, mostly known for her role in the TV show Modern Family, and Loeb is a businessman […]

Sex, Lies and Birth Certificates
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Sex, Lies and Birth Certificates

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Recently in my state of California, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that, beginning in 2016, will alter birth certificates in a dramatic way. Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles) authored Assembly Bill 1951, which amends the California Vital Records Birth Certificate law in order to “modernize” California birth certificates by allowing each parent to self-identify as mother, father, […]

"I Paid $50,000 for a Girl"
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“I Paid $50,000 for a Girl”

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I think future generations will look back on our insane notion of “reproductive rights,” and they will be horrified. Back in the 70s reproductive rights meant terminating a life you already started. Today it also means creating life however you see fit and tossing out whatever doesn’t suit your desires. So not only have we […]

The Future of Reproduction
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The Future of Reproduction

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Last week the New America Foundation hosted a conference on “The Future of Reproduction” in Washington, D.C. Despite a few exceptions, the event was pretty much one large cheerleading session in praise of reproductive technology. A few highlights: Dan Kois, co-Host of “Mom and Dad Are Fighting,” Slate’s parenting podcast, offered praise of preimplantation genetic […]

The Contending Opinions on Three-Parent Embryo Safety, Part I
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The Contending Opinions on Three-Parent Embryo Safety, Part I

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In our long stride toward the inevitable designer babies, the first manipulation has been the noble goal of creating babies free of the mitochondrial diseases carried by their mothers. This series will examine the issue rather thoroughly in four basic segments: 1. The basic cell biology involved. 2. The problem of defective mitochondria. 3. The […]

My Journey Through In Vitro Fertilization
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My Journey Through In Vitro Fertilization

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It’s July 2008 and I’m strapped to a surgical table as a fertility doctor siphons three dozen eggs out of my ovaries through a long needle. Blood is coming from between my legs, as the needle repeatedly perforates my vaginal walls en route to my ovaries in search of viable eggs. In the next room, […]

The Trouble With Uterus Transplants
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The Trouble With Uterus Transplants

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Last week doctors in Sweden announced the birth of a baby after a uterus transplant. The baby is so far healthy being born at only 31 weeks gestation. I am very happy that mother and baby are healthy enough to leave the hospital and I wish them continued health. I  also wish that this procedure […]

Today's Three-Parent Kids Are Not the Same As Tomorrow's Three-Parent Kids
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Today’s Three-Parent Kids Are Not the Same As Tomorrow’s Three-Parent Kids

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Many people are not aware that there are already about two dozen kids in the United States that have been genetically modified. A recent headline exclaims that “The World’s First Genetically Modified Babies Will Graduate High School This Year.” This is true.Nearly 2 decades ago, Dr. Jacques Cohen of the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and […]

UK Quietly Opens the Door to Genetic Engineering, ‘Three-Parent’ Embryos
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UK Quietly Opens the Door to Genetic Engineering, ‘Three-Parent’ Embryos

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Last month the UK’s Department of Health quietly redefined the term “genetic modification” to open the door to allow certain kinds of modification of human embryos – thus potentially making it the first country in the world to allow genetic engineering. Scottish journalist Lori Anderson recently raised the alarm over the change in a column […]

Ignorant Slaves
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Ignorant Slaves

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Pattharamon Janbua is a surrogate mother who carried twins for an Australian couple. Upon learning that one of the twins had Down syndrome, the couple pressed Janbua to get an abortion. She refused and the couple chose to abandon that child and take only the healthy baby. This is a chilling story, but one with a happy ending […]

Making Babies, Making Money
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Making Babies, Making Money

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IVF Worldwide is an expansive online community that prides itself on being “the largest and most comprehensive in-vitro fertilization (IVF)-focused website for doctors, embryologists, nurses, and social workers.” While it’s meant to serve as a resource for those within the industry—because make no mistake about it, that’s what it is, an industry—couples considering using IVF […]

A Bad Week of Press for Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART)
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A Bad Week of Press for Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART)

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If you are like me (you probably aren’t) and have your google alerts set for “egg donation,” “sperm donation,” and “surrogacy,” you will have seen that it was a bad press week for the field of reproductive medicine. Here are several stories that caught my eye. Risks to Mother and Child The Daily Mail reports […]

Artificial Reproductive Technology: Constructing a Dystopia
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Artificial Reproductive Technology: Constructing a Dystopia

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Both the 1932 novel Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and the 1997 science fiction movie “Gattaca” are classified as dystopias because they depict societies riddled with misery, tragedy, and a dehumanizing culture. Both attribute this decline in civilization to manipulations of human genetics and perversions of human reproduction. In Brave New World the traditional […]

Surrogate Parenting is Wrong
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Surrogate Parenting is Wrong

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Recently, Christopher White wrote a commentary on the ethical problems associated with “surrogate parenthood for money.” He argued that paying for surrogate parenting is actually a form of human trafficking. His position is an interesting one, particularly because he presents his perspective in the context of many surrogate mothers who have later regretted their decision to carry […]

Asexual Human Reproduction
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Asexual Human Reproduction

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Today the phrase “from the beginning of his/her biological development” accurately defines when the life of an individual human being begins to exist; the terms “conception” or “fertilization” do not. We have learned this is so because the fact is that not all human beings begin through sexual means; some are reproduced asexually. This concept […]

Pregnancy, Why Bother?
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Pregnancy, Why Bother?

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There are those hushed, polite conversations when people wondered why Tag Romney and his wife, who already had three children naturally, chose to have three more children via gestational surrogacy.  The celebrity surrogate pregnancy stories always raise more eyebrows.  Why did Sarah Jessica Parker, already a proven birth mother, use another woman’s body to have […]

The Crude World of Baby Making
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The Crude World of Baby Making

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The Huffington Post reports that the Food and Drug Administration has been asked to approve creation of “genetically modified children.” The FDA announced a meeting aimed at analyzing the proposed practice of “oocyte modification in assisted reproduction for the prevention of transmission of mitochondrial disease or treatment of infertility.” In other words, a type of […]

Baby Farms
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Baby Farms

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Today’s Daily Mail features an article titled “Wombs for Rent” and praises the surrogacy enterprise as a means of “transforming the lives of poverty-stricken women” in India. India has been a hotspot for commercial surrogacy since the early 2000s, particularly for couples from the UK, Australia, and the United States looking to avoid the costly fees associated with surrogates […]

FDA Considers Allowing Genetically Modified Children
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FDA Considers Allowing Genetically Modified Children

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This week the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) met to discuss allowing the creation of human beings with three genetic parents to proceed to clinical trials. That is, whether to allow human “three-parent embryos” to be implanted and possibly grow to term. There are currently two different techniques for manufacturing three-parent embryos, the purpose of […]

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