Stanek op ed in USA Today

USA Today requested an op ed from me on the topic of in vitro fertilization regulation, and I was grateful for the opportunity. It is published today. Here's a snip:

The sensational story of Nadya Suleman giving birth to octuplets after in vitro fertilization of multiple embryos has spotlighted the need to regulate this Wild West of women's reproductive care.

usa today logo 5.gif

Now is the time for pro-lifers to introduce legislation in their states regulating IVF and, with it, the creation and care of embryos....

A movement in this direction is gathering force. Louisiana has had a law since 1986 defining ex-utero embryos as human beings with inherent rights. Embryos cannot be destroyed for research. Court disputes over abandoned embryos must be decided in the best interest of the embryo. At least 5 other states are considering legislation defining an embryo as a person....

The Suleman case has exposed a need to regulate the IVF industry, the sooner the better. Currently sea turtles in the US enjoy more procreative protection than women and children.

And here is USA Today's editorial opposing IVF regulation.


Comments:

The proaborts keep searching for a scientifically justifiable dividing line between humanity and "non-humanity", and they can't find it because there is none. Sadly, that has not stopped them from continuing to look, or continuing to make indefensible claims that they soon abandon.

There is no dividing line, there is only their unquenchable desire to be allowed to keep on killing human beings electively.

Posted by: Doyle Chadwick at March 18, 2009 7:09 AM


"...unquenchable desire to be allowed to keep on killing human beings electively."

wow.

we really live in two different realities....

Posted by: Hal at March 18, 2009 7:22 AM


I simply can't support any law that in any way encourages IVF.
I have the greatest sympathy for couples suffering from infertility but IMO, this is not the way to go.
The drugs are harmful to women - some of whom have died in an attempt to become pregnant.
The procedure is harmful to babies in so many ways:
*the experimentation and destruction of early unborn humans,
*the higher than normal rate of abnormalities esp of the skull and brain in IVF children,

*the eugenic approach to fertility and rampant abortion of imperfect embryos, wrongly implanted embryos and embryos not wanted by the father but dearly wanted by their mother.

*it commodifies children

*it removes the sacredness of marital intimacy

*ignores the rights of children to have both a mother and a father - anyone can have the procedure done

The procedure should be banned.
I think any attempt to "regulate" this industry is probably too little, too late. And even if regulated, people will go elsewhere to find a doctor who will implanted the requested number of embryos, or do the procedure on a woman too old etc.
We've tried this way with abortion and it's never worked.

Posted by: angel at March 18, 2009 7:24 AM


After "Angle's"comment, youbetter make that three different realities hal!

Jill the editorial doesn't call for NO regulations. It actually calls for strict regulations that limit the number of embryos to be implanted. Higher multiple births are dangerous to the health and welfare of the mother and the children. Furthermore it is costly.

Reality is that this is the kind of legislation that will pass.

Posted by: asitis at March 18, 2009 7:46 AM


"Most clinics belong to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). They agree to follow its professional guidelines, which evolve along with medical knowledge and ethical debate."

I find this statement so telling. That the professional guidelines of a medical organization could morph and evolve is a frightening thing in itself. Life, which used to be sacred and protected, is now expendable. All because someone on an ethics committee at a meeting of the ASRM said so. Disturbing indeed.

Posted by: Megan Hoyt at March 18, 2009 8:10 AM


"....They agree to follow its professional guidelines, which evolve along with medical knowledge and ethical debate."

I find this statement so telling. That the professional guidelines of a medical organization could morph and evolve is a frightening thing in itself
Posted by: Megan Hoyt at March 18, 2009 8:10 AM

Megan, don't you see the need for new or changing professional guildelines as medical science advances?

Posted by: asitis at March 18, 2009 8:28 AM


Medical science isn't so much evolving as ethics are devolving. The ethics are devolving (disappearing) because they are no longer rooted in historic Judeo-Christian morality. And that, I think, was Megan's point.

Posted by: Jon at March 18, 2009 1:03 PM


You really want politicians making medical decisions because of one extreme case? If you had a background in reproductive endocrinology you would know IVF rarely results in more than twins. It is fertility drugs such as pergonal that can lead to six or seven babies. Doctors know this. Ideological politicians don't. We currently allow doctors to decide the best course of treatment here in the US. This is why we have the highest success rates in the world while multiple birth have been on the decline.

Posted by: Nicole at March 18, 2009 1:30 PM


Jon - you mean that same historic Judeo-Christian morality that has been used to justify slavery and wife beating? Honor killings and forced religious conversions? There's a reason why the constitution isn't based on it - because it's a flawed, dated ideology, best left in the dustbin of history.

Posted by: Michael at March 18, 2009 1:33 PM


Congrats on the publication in U.S.A. TODAY.

Posted by: bmmg39 at March 18, 2009 4:23 PM


How about regulating men's reproductive care as well? The use of viagra by wrinkled old men is a waste of health care dollars.

Posted by: Yo La Tengo at March 18, 2009 5:59 PM


Ahh yes, USA Today, the hotel paper that no one actually reads. It's like a daily edition of Parade Magazine minus the really bad cartoons - well i guess if you count the columnists it does have cartoons....

Posted by: Yo la Tengo at March 18, 2009 6:01 PM


Nicole: "If you had a background in reproductive endocrinology you would know IVF rarely results in more than twins."

You haven't addressed the problem of so many sons and daughters created via IVF being deliberately destroyed.

Posted by: bmmg39 at March 18, 2009 8:10 PM


You haven't addressed the problem of so many sons and daughters created via IVF being deliberately destroyed.

Posted by: bmmg39 at March 18, 2009 8:10 PM

Have you ever had eggs for breakfast? If you have then you've distroyed eggs that were meant for reproduction by your logic.
Personally I think chicken eggs are pretty bad, but more on a taste issue, but unlike yourself, I dont think I would goto hell for having an over-easy pre-born chicken for breakfast. I've never tried human...perhaps they taste better!

Posted by: Yo La Tengo at March 18, 2009 9:44 PM


Michael said, "Jon - you mean that same historic Judeo-Christian morality that has been used to justify slavery and wife beating? Honor killings and forced religious conversions? There's a reason why the constitution isn't based on it - because it's a flawed, dated ideology, best left in the dustbin of history.

Michael, I don't think you know what you're talking about. You seem to be referring to Muslim ideology. Christianity has not produced the evils to which you refer. Quite the contrary.

There have been Christians who have tried to use the Bible to justify slavery. They are in the minority. The Old Testament rules regarding slaves were more humane than those of the surrounding nations, e.g. Hammurabi's. Like divorce and polygamy (Matt. 19:8), slavery was permitted in the Old Testament because of the hardness of the people's hearts, because the ways of the world (surrounding nations) were so much a part of their own conception of reality (culture). The New Testament contains one letter to the slave-owner Philemon pleading with him to deal mercifully with his slave Onesimus, as with a fellow brother in Jesus Christ (both slave and master were Christian). In fact, the abolition of slavery has been almost entirely an initiative of Western civilization. In Arabia and Africa it was always an accepted practice. The Muslims still practice it. And similar depraved institutions such as prostitution and practices like foot-binding were widespread in China. Christian missionaries ended them.

Wife-beating? Get real, Michael. The Christian Church has never condoned the beating of one's wife. In fact, Christianity has done more than any other religion to improve the place of women. Secular humanism, on the other hand, is hurting them by its claim of equality with men in all respects. If a woman is no different than a man, then a man will treat her like he would any man. He will fight her. As the physically stronger of the two, he will beat her. Secular humanism, not Christianity, produces wife-beating.

Honour killings? In the Old Testament, Israel's justice system allowed the avenger of blood--the nearest of kin--to seek out and kill a murderer. That justice system also allowed the suspected murderer to flee to one of the designated cities of refuge in order to get a fair trial. I think there were also instances in which fornication or adultery, perhaps rape, were capital offenses--they are after all serious sins, committed as well as thought--but these were certainly not honour killings. Only in Muslim ideology does one honorably save his reputation by killing his defiled sister or daughter. Actually, that's not true. Current secular humanism allows honour killings. A mother may kill her child to save her reputation (so that nobody will know that she has had a child). But current secular humanism allows any number of motives for such child-killings.

Christendom has been associated with forced religious conversions. As a Protestant, I do not agree with the methods of Cortez or the Inquisition. At the same time, the history of the Roman Catholic Church before the sixteenth century is in large part also my history. The Bible itself, as the Word of God, always stresses its own power. It is the Sword of the Holy Spirit. Human hearts are won through its preaching. And again, the concept of the higher power of the pen as opposed to the physical sword is one that originates in Christianity. Secular humanists, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists are all my enemies, but God wants me to tell them the truth, and the truth will set them free, and God's Spirit will convert them to His cause. So we have freedom of speech because our ancestors valued the truth more than their own safety and security. "They may kill the body, but they cannot kill the soul," the Lord Jesus somewhere said. "It is better to enter heaven crippled than to enter hell with a whole body." But let us consider secular humanism. Which religion is it that deprecates all other religions as being mere religions but considers itself as something more than a religion, as something to be thought of as good because of having claimed to transcend religion? Which religion has erased all reminders of Christian history in the the relatively newly minted constitution of the European Union? Adherents of which religion have indeed claimed that the morality contained in the American Constitution is not a Christian one? Do they force religious conversion? Why, of course, they do! Americans are forced to pay for the secular humanist schools, but Christian schools are privately funded. The Bible holds parents responsible for the education of their children, but secular humanists turn education over to the hands of the civil government. The civil government is sheer force, and American public education is essentially forced religious conversion for children of Christian parents. Of course, Christian parents are real parents, i.e. a father and a mother, not "two mothers," etc. As a more recent example of the intolerance of secular humanism, consider the abortion holocaust. Christian pharmacists and doctors are being told to assist in the killing of unborn children and more generally implement the culture of death (e.g. issue contraceptives).

The American constitution incorporates Christian morality. It could not help but incorporate it, so great still was the influence of the Church in Western civilization. As one notable example, consider the system of checks and balances in the civil government. That was put in place as a result of the concept that "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." In short, it is an acknowledgement of sin. Given the right circumstances--and short of the restraining Spirit of God--each one of us will become a Mr. Hitler. We are all criminals before God. The miracle is the gift of Jesus Christ. That's GRACE, and that's the point of history. History is His story, the Lord Jesus' story. Everything else will disappear in the dustbin of history.

Posted by: Jon at March 19, 2009 1:59 AM


Everything else will disappear in the dustbin of history, even the American constitution. The American constitution is a valuable document, a very useful document, but it is still a flawed document. The Bible is infallible.

Posted by: Jon at March 19, 2009 2:06 AM


Posted by: Yo La Tengo at March 18, 2009 5:59 PM

"How about regulating men's reproductive care as well? The use of viagra by wrinkled old men is a waste of health care dollars."

-----------------------------------------------------

I submit that most of the opposition to that proposition would come from 'wrinkled old women'.

Or as the 'wrinkled old lady' in 'When Harry met Sally' said to the waitress, "I want what she is having."

Just because it's good for the gander doesn't mean the goose won't benefit as well.

yor bro ken

Posted by: kbhvac at March 19, 2009 4:11 PM


ylt,

did you crack a smile? maybe even chuckle a little?

I am going to purchase a lottery ticket.

We might actually agree on something, if by 'health care dollars' you meant tax dollars spent for health care.

yor bro ken

Posted by: kbhvac at March 19, 2009 4:15 PM


ylt: "Have you ever had eggs for breakfast? If you have then you've distroyed eggs that were meant for reproduction by your logic.
Personally I think chicken eggs are pretty bad, but more on a taste issue, but unlike yourself, I dont think I would goto hell for having an over-easy pre-born chicken for breakfast."

I haven't eaten egg products in about 16 years, since I went lacto-vegetarian, but it seems like you need to learn a few things about chicken eggs. The eggs one buys in the supermarket are usually UNFERTILIZED. Meaning there is no "aborted chicken," but rather, if anything, a "contracepted chicken" (which is still rather nauseating, but not as bad as the other would be).

A human embryo, on the other hand, is the result of a sperm cell fertilizing a human ovum. Why is it so many on the pro-ESCR side make these fallacious arguments about chicken eggs and acorns?

Posted by: bmmg39 at March 19, 2009 10:41 PM


Wow. Stunning.

When you compare what you submitted to what they actually published, it is like comparing fully Camry to a fully loaded Lexus, after the Camry has been through the car jackers chop shop.

Jill,

Next time just ask them to write your article for you and it will save time and energy. Tell them they can use your name if they guarantee they will spell it correctly. Make sure they the correct spelling.

yor bro ken

Posted by: kbhvac at March 25, 2009 7:16 AM