Monday, October 6, 2008

Seeking your opinions

I want to hear your opinions on the following article:,0,7185026.story

There are other articles embedded within this one, so check them out as well.

I won't give my opinion just yet because I want to hear what you guys think first. I didn't want to slant the comments by giving my opinions. So be open and let me know your thoughts! I'll post mine soon!


mrs_clink said...

Well - I hope I don't offend anyone here but I'll give my honest opinion since it was asked for.

I sure as heck hope these "personhood" laws don't pass. I think it's a step in the wrong direction for women's reproductive rights.

I'm as pro-choice as they come and although I do consider an embryo a life - I don't believe it's the same thing as a baby or even a fetus.

All women - fertile and infertile alike deserve the right to make these choices for themselves without government intervention.

You know that we did an IVF w/ PGD cycle - and I did end up with 5 embryos left over - but all 5 were abnormal so they were discarded. I don't feel bad about that. No couple would want to adopt them - not with the fatal cardiac condition they were all affected with - or with my family history of cancer - and my autoimmune disorder.

Even if we would have had "normal" embryos left - I would have frozen them until I had a live baby in my arms then I would have discarded them b/c again - no one would want them given my family health history.

It's not all as cut and dry as it seems. The option to donate embies to research is a really happy medium I think - but as the article states - the demand isn't in line with the supply.

So... I'm not sure where I'm going with this other than - I think awarding embryos "personhood" status is a bad idea - we've come too far to take this big of a step back - and it's not all cut and dry like it sounds.

Hannah (hannah&ben)

Suzanne said...

Great discussion!

I will admit that before I started IVF, I didn't even think about the subject. But, I think I probably would've looked at from a scientific standpoint and thought they are merely a bunch of cells unable to sustain themselves; therefore, not really "life".

After going through an IVF cycle resulting in 3 embryos to freeze and subsequently tranferring two of them last week, I think I've changed my mind.

I couldn't bare the thought of leaving them sitting in a freezer somewhere. They are potential human beings and a true gift.

If we had embryos leftover that we couldn't or didn't want to use, I absolutely would agree to have them adoptable by another couple who can't conceive. I guess, to me, it's a way I can help ease someone else's pain.

I am pro-choice and I think the right to have and keep a baby is a woman's right but only under the right circumstances. If abortion is used as a method of continuous birth control, I absolutely do not agree with that.

tryingtoconceive said...

I have 3 frozen embryos today. I am pregnant with twins, and will decide once we adjust to life with multiples what to do with the other 3 potential children.

I could never have them destroyed.

I would *donate* (not sell) them to another couple, or donate them to research.

I believe that changing the legal language is a slippery slope, because once a fetus is a life, then people use that legal status to abolish any abortions for any reason. I don't believe I'm in a position to tell any woman how to manage her reproductive life. Abortion may not be an option for me, but I cannot pretend to know what its like to face that decision.

I think the same is true of embryos. If they are legally termed living, then there are certain peopel who would want more control over abortion laws, and over how I have managed my own infertility.

What if they told me I HAD to put those three embryos back in, even if they were genetically unhealthy, even if it put my life at risk? I can't even think of all the potential what ifs...

Suzanne said...

Very interesting indeed...I have not been through IVF yet, but I have thought about this a lot. As of right now I have to agree with one of the subjects in the article...I feel that the embryos are a "potential life" but are not human.

If I had unused frozen embryos, I think I would donate them to research (although it doesn't sound easy). I do not think I would put them up for adoption for one specific reason...that if the embryo resulted in a baby, that baby would be a full genetic sibling of my future children...that is just a little too weird for me.

I respect everyone's decisions, as it is a difficult one to make, but do feel that we should be able to decide for ourselves what we do with our embryos.

Thanks for sharing the articles.

MamaSoon said...

I think this article annoys me.

Just the use of the word 'glut'...


Most people incorrectly think that IVF cycles always produce extra embryos that can be frozen. Most of the time they don't. And when they do, there are not tons left over.

Perpetuating this misconception is insulting to the thousands of ladies in blogland and the forums that wish they had embies on ice to turn into children. I find this very sad.

I think many people who are judging this issue have no idea how uncommon extra embies are.

Even SART is trying very hard to move towards the one embie = one baby.

People don't understand the real issue.

As for me personally, my husband and I chose for ourselves that we would never stop until all of our embies where transferred. We would NEVER allow an embie to be discarded.

I believe strongly in the right to choice when it comes to reproductive rights. Government has no business being in my bedroom or marriage.

An embryo is to me the beautiful beginning but not yet a life. And as I sit here typing I am starting to cry. I can't possibly deal with the idea that I've lost 6 children from the embryos I've transferred, my embryos, me and my husband's... i can't continue without crying here.

Jill said...

mamasoon-My intention with this article was certainly not to "perpetuate this misconception..insulting to the thousands of ladies in blogland and the forums." I'm pretty sure that the majority of followers of this blog know all too well about the realities of IVF. Personally, I am one of those ladies who prior to my CCRM cycle, had no embryos to freeze after 33 eggs (15 embies) in IVF#1 and 17 eggs (10 embies) in IVF#2. Perhaps you didn't know that about me, but obviously I know all too well the reality of how uncommon extra embies are.

As a fellow blog follower and IVFConnections supporter, I would hope that you would not think my intention would ever be to make someone sad. This article was merely a discussion point. That's all. There are always 2 sides to every story. I have my strong opinion on it, but I didn't want to taint the spirit of freedom of speech.

I'm truly sorry for the hard time you are going through. I have felt extremely sad through all of this as well. I feel exactly as you: I do feel as though I have lost 4 children from previous transfers. So make no mistake, I hurt just like almost everyone else in blogland who also hurts. I do understand the real issue.

Lorraine said...

Well, OF COURSE it would be great if clinics could manage to make sure there were no leftover embryos - but the idea that doctors would be threated by legal charges if they allowed embryos to be destroyed is appalling. Somebody like me needs to make as many possible embryos as I can in hopes of having a good one in there somewhere - if my doctors had to operate under threat of litigation I would be SOL.

Clearly the personhood issue is about abortion, and that's the flip side of what most of us are dealing with. It's so hard to imagine being on that side of the coin, but as much as I want rights and understanding for my reproductive issues, I support the rights of those in the other boat. I hope the personhood initiatives fail.

Kate said...

I wish embryos were the start of life. I transferred 3 and none became a baby so it makes it hard for me to say that an embryo is the start of life. We made the decision before starting IVF what to do with our embies if we decided after 5 years not to transfer them. It has never been an issue though because we have never had any to freeze.

M. said...

Wow, these other responses are so intelligent and thorough. My initial reaction seems pretty insignificant now! As I read the article, all I kept thinking was, "those frozen embryos are potential children." I have a hard time thinking of them as children or babies, but they are life.

I also would have a hard time giving them to another couple. I mean, it wouldn't just be life I'd be giving to someone else, it would be my potential child.

On the flip side of that thought, how amazing would it be to give life to another couple? I mean, with the struggles we've all been through (no matter to what degree), it seems like a terrible waste to destroy these little teeny tiny potential children.

I frankly don't know what I would do if asked to choose how to handle "extra" potential children. I guess it's kind of like anything in life-- it takes being in a situation to know what decision you'd make.

But one thing I do know-- those cells (in my opinion) are potential children, and therefore, completely and utterly precious.

MamaSoon said...

Hey Jill, I didn't mean you at all! I meant the articles and the people I talk to. I know you are educated on the topic. I am sorry my message seemed personal. You asked for opinions on the article. I wasn't making it personal. Just sharing my frustration about the way IF is twisted in the media.

See? You and me... blog buds. ;-)