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Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. Anti-choice politicians, their fellow travelers in various male-dominated religious hierarchies, and assorted very bad journalists will mark the occasion with a lot of grandstanding about all the great moral good they would do if only the Supreme Court weren't standing in their way, oh and please send money so they can continue to fight the good fight.

Meanwhile, IVF.

Ever heard any American "pro-lifer" say a word about IVF?

The anti-choice crowd congratulate themselves on having the moral high ground. A new citizen is created at the moment of conception, they say, and they are the only ones who are defending it. Lincoln freeing the slaves was nothing compared to what they do. Or, rather, would do, if that darn Supreme Court were tying their hands.

Meanwhile, IVF.

If you believe that a new person is created at the moment of conception, then the fertility industry murders and tortures for profit.  And the last Republican presidential candidate is a moral monster who is happy that his surplus grandchildren are being kept on ice in an undisclosed location.

There is nothing like Roe protecting the IVF industry, so "pro-life" governors and "pro-life" legislators could act today to shut down the clinics and defend all these little lives.

But they don't. Why?

The only explanation I have ever heard is "we are choosing our battles". What does that, in practice, boil down to? Is it really a better use of time and resources to mandate transvaginal ultrasounds for teenage rape victims?  If your answer is "yes" then I think your true motivation has been exposed: you are more interested in punishing women than your are "defending life". Abortion is something sluts do, whereas IVF is something nice middle class suburban couples do.

We should talk more about IVF. I can't think of anything else that does a better job of exposing the rank hypocrisy and political opportunism of the religious right.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Uh yes, actually (7+ / 0-)

    The Catholic Church - of which a large part of the Anti-abortion movement proceeds from and is funded by - vigorously condemns IVF as immoral for the same reason it believes that abortion is immoral. Life begins at conceptions, IVF uses multiple embryos of which some get discarded, etc.

    For whatever they may be, they do tend to be consistent.

    Look, I tried to be reasonable...

    by campionrules on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 08:23:10 AM PST

  •  As a Catholic, I've seen literature (5+ / 0-)

    from the Church opposing IVF. Rank-and-file Catholics aren't all opposed to it, of course, any more than we all support overturning Roe v. Wade. But IVF is most definitely on the list of targets put out by Church officials.

    Please visit:

    by Noisy Democrat on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 08:25:08 AM PST

  •  Completely agree (12+ / 0-)

    Not only have I thought the same thing for years, there is an even more glaring hypocrisy inherent in the Right's silence on IVF-playing God. In both the Terry Shivo debate and the "pro-life" debate we frequently hear that God has ordained that life and we have no right to interfere. Yet when it comes to infertility suddenly God has no problem with you doing some tinkering. And, let me be clear I'm in no way saying that being infertile is something easy to deal with, nor do I think "God" made you that way. But, the Right by and large does. Making their stance on IVF very hypocritical.

  •  So an IVF doctor looked for zoning (5+ / 0-)

    changes in my city, and was opposed by a number of conservatives. What surprised was the number of families that turned out in support having used IVF. I had no idea how big it was, and how much they appreciate the help and how they easily and confidently they rejected the idea that their family arose from a nefarious practice. They just seemed happy to be there.

    That's not even "gun control". It's more like "massacre control".

    by Inland on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 08:39:59 AM PST

  •  You miss the point (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    glorificus, DRo, lina, rb608, greengemini, BachFan

    Fertilized eggs go for at least $5000, and there is a thriving IVF business that contributes mightily to the Republican party! It's like the marijuana dealers and the Indian casinos. You wouldn't think "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" but that's how it works.

    The fact that 400,000 fertilized embryos go down the drain each year means nothing to the anti-stem cell crowd.

  •  SantaFeMarie - (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, rb608, greengemini, SilentBrook

    Google "Bush Snowflake Babies"

    You may or may not recall that Bush attempted to basically steal people's fertilized eggs to give them to infertile anti-choice couples.

    IVF has been a very controversial area for the anti-choice movement for sometime.

  •  As always, there's one set of rules for them (8+ / 0-)

    and another set of rules for everyone else.

    Case in point: Tennessee teabagger congressman Scott DesJarlais, who was recently revealed to have encouraged SEVERAL exes to abort their unintended pregnancies.

    Note that he never seems to have taken PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY and wrapping his littler weasel; abortion seems to have been his preferred no-baby method.

    Yet he ran on the teabagger anti-choice platform.

    And he has many excuses for his behavior, mostly along the lines of "It was the right thing to do at the time" and, my personal favorite, "Mind your own business."

    Yes: what's good for DesJarlais is somehow not good for certain other people. This makes him, like so many on the other side of this argument, a hypocrite of the highest order.

    There are two types of Republicans: millionaires and suckers.

    by Phil T Duck on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:04:22 AM PST

  •  I think IVF is entirely unethical. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That's my personal opinion, and it is based on the idea that while not "human life" per se, there is a cost and a waste involved in creating zygotes and then selecting the "worthy" ones.

    And, you know what? That means I would never undergo IVF. Can think of very few circumstances under which I'd have an abortion but absolutely none where I'd use IVF.

    I will say that the Roman Catholic Church at least has the courtesy to be consistent on this issue. It opposes IVF and contraception in addition to abortion. Of course, in practice, it's the women who don't want babies that seem to come under more scrutiny, although they are only killing one or two little zygotes at a time, as opposed to what could only be the mass slaughter (if life begins at conception) of women who want children enough to go through IVF.

    And, yes, I know women who have used IVF. And I shut up about my opinion on the matter when speaking to them directly. It's their choice.

    by Magenta on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:22:36 AM PST

    •  If, during an election year, a Catholic bishop (4+ / 0-)

      denies a politician communion for not shutting down the for-profit IVF clinics in the dioceses, I'll agree that the Catholic Church is being consistent.

    •  And then there's climate change (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rb608, greengemini, Magenta, SilentBrook, fumie

      In addition to the other objections I have to IVF (hormone overload needed to "harvest" eggs as if they were bean seeds, excess hormones dumping out into the drinking water, among others), we know that having 7 billion people on the planet is way too many to be sustainable, and is going to cause -- is already causing -- conflicts, starvation, water shortages, etc. etc.

      I am not a biologist, but my understanding is that when animal species expand beyond what their habitat can support, lowered fertility is one mechanism that kicks in naturally to reduce the population. (The other is increased dying-off, starvation causing weakness and susceptibility to disease and predators. We step in to prevent that in humans, out of compassion and love for those already living.)

      To me the IVF craze comes from pushing by money-making docs, and peculiar demand created by that pushing and etc. In a rational world, the first thing you would do would be to stop doing extraordinary heavy-on-the-hormones treatments to overcome natural lowered fertility. But in our warped world, it's medically possible, and highly marketable, so it's become normal, even while we can't manage to fund adequate prenatal care for naturally occurring pregnancies.

      •  Well, as much as I love my husband. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SilentBrook, fumie, peregrine kate

        And as much as I think I'm a smart person, and as much as the children we have produced are really intelligent, gifted people who do have great potential to change the world ...

        I never thought my husband and I were so special that our DNA not carrying on was a catastrophe for the planet. If we couldn't have kids, well, then we wouldn't have had kids. My brother has six (all born before my first), so, you know, my DNA at least was moving forward.

        I love my kids. Glad they're here, but I find it a rather selfish position to think that it is somehow a right to have children at any cost. It's a strange idea to me that people spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to guarantee they have a biological child.

        Now, I also entirely acknowledge that as a mother of two who really was never entirely adamant about the need for children to start, that is entirely easier for me to say than it is for women who desperately want children.

        So, again, it is a personal decision. It is one, though, that I am absolutely confident I wouldn't make. Not all hypotheticals are like that, but on that one I am absolutely as certain as I can be.

        by Magenta on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 10:41:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I have thought the same thing (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, SilentBrook, fumie, BachFan

    I've known women who conceived via IVF who don't miss a beat condemning abortion and admitting that they'd consider "selective reduction" if all the embryos took , or had additional embryos frozen just in case.  "Oh but this is creating life" blah blah blah.

    Their bodies their choices but they could never seem to riddle out the logic that the same choices should be available to other people.

    We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

    by Vita Brevis on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 10:10:40 AM PST

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