A US woman whose IVF involved the creation of 48 embryos and the freezing of 30 mature embryos has described the “roller-coaster ride” of IVF and the neglect of ethical and health concerns.
Speaking on the programme “Venus Rising”, Jennie described feeling “horrible, super-bloated” after her ovarian stimulation, which also carried risks to her health. Nonetheless, she was proud and excited to be told that no fewer than 65 eggs had been extracted from her. Of those, 48 were fertilised to create embryos.
Jennie asks, “Looking back, why, why did we fertilize 48 of them… I have no idea, why?” She said, “If I could go back, you know, honestly at this point I think I would fertilize what, what we would use and then, you know, that would be it because now effectively we have all these embryos that we don’t know what to do with.”
“So we ended up with… 30 embryos that got far enough along to be frozen and one of them obviously was our son…now we have 29, we have 29 sitting in storage that we pay $600 a month to keep there because we don’t know what to do with them.”
Originally, Jennie and her husband had been thinking of donating any spare embryos for experimentation. However, after their son was born from IVF, it was no longer so easy to do this:
“Seeing literally from the very beginning, that picture of my son on transfer day, you know, that little tiny embryo to what he is now and knowing… that’s a life, that’s a unique set of, you know, characteristics.”
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Jennie continued: “I’m so thankful for my son and I, you know, whatever it takes, I – I’m so glad that he’s here. But I see a lot of red flags.” In her church, in which she was heavily involved, “not one person, you know, nobody talked about when does life begin? What are the ethical ramifications of creating more embryos than you could ever use in your lifetime?”
Visibly emotional, Jennie said that she and her husband have completed their family. She is older now and has less patience than she would have had many years ago.
Jennie does not want to try for another baby with any one of her 29 embryos. She speaks of the possibility of “having our clinic release the embryos to us and you know, some kind of ceremonious way honouring the lives that they could have been”. But “I’m just not ready yet to – to pull that trigger.”
The human cost of IVF
Alithea Williams, SPUC’s Public Policy Manager, said: “Stories like Jennie’s remind us of the many ethical problems with IVF. While she has one son that was born from the process, his 29 siblings, still alive, will never be born but will die when removed from frozen storage. Untold numbers of very young human beings die – and are often intended to die – in this way, or remain frozen for years. Those of us who campaign against the killing of unborn babies through abortion should also be mindful of all those lost through the fertility industry.
“This does not mean that we in any way diminish the pain and heartbreak of those who suffer from infertility. But it is important to remember desperate couples are often taken advantage of by private IVF clinics. Professor Robert Winston, a pioneer of the procedure, has talked of vulnerable couples being ‘sucked’ into costly IVF procedures. He describes a ‘major problem’ with private clinics ‘selling the dream’ to desperate couples, leading many to believe they are much more likely to get pregnant than they really are.
“IVF doesn’t treat underlying infertility problems – it merely bypasses them. Health care resources should prioritise ethical and successful ways of helping childless couples, such as NaProTechnology – ways which don’t involve wasting and degrading human life.”
LifeNews Note: Courtesy of SPUC. The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children is a leading pro-life organization in the United Kingdom.