Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Candidates and In Vitro Fertilization


What it looks like:

The process:

8 week old eggs:

Last night I (the editor of OiA!) went to an Obama fundraiser event.  One of the speakers discussed how she was unable to carry children in her own body, so had another woman carry her children for her.  This is only possible through IVF.  The speaker then sent out a thank you and a blessing to the woman who carried and birthed her two sons, and mentioned that this woman had cared for her sons until the moment they were born and delivered into her own arms for her to then care for.   

She also mentioned that should McCain win, there stands a great chance that the women of this country will lose their right to choose what they do with their own bodies. 

Below, please find an article and video which is an NPR interview with representatives of the McCain and Obama camps responding to questions that people out in the world had called or emailed in.  This one deals with IVF.  

*Click here* to link to the blog that this article was taken from.

Would McCain ban IVF?

Category: Presidential Candidate
Posted on: October 6, 2008 3:08 PM, by Michael Stebbins

At the 18 September head-to-head between health advisors from the McCain and Obama campaign that Scientists and Engineers for America hosted at George Washington University, a question on in vitro fertilization completely stumped McCain health advisor Jay Khosla. The Obama campaign surrogate, Dora Hughes, MPH, MD answered it without hesitation.

Frankly, the inability to answer this simple question on a widely used assisted reproductive technology or clarify whether McCain will once and for all lift Bush's ban on use of federal funds for human embryonic stem cell research is deeply disturbing. Is it pandering to the religious right, an innocent flub or an indication of intentions to tighten restrictions on assisted reproductive technologies? This is hardly "gotcha journalism." The inability to answer is scary.

The moderator, Julie Rovner from NPR, was taking questions from the audience and by email, here is the IVF question...

"Senator McCain has stated that human life begins at the moment of conception. This would have many implications for scientific research and health policy. Would Senator McCain ban in vitro fertilization, a procedure where most fertilized eggs are destroyed; and if not, why not?

The question itself hinges upon the definition of "conception," there are two. Generally, the religious right defines conception as fertilization of an embryo (regardless of the means of delivery). The medical definition requires implantation of the embryo. The easy answer would have been "Of course not. Senator McCain has no intention of banning IVF. That's preposterous" Mr. Khosla said he would be willing to answer this question off line. I wonder what his answer would be with the cameras off. Watch the whole forum here.


Just last night I read part of Daniel Radosh's book "Rapture Ready" that discusses the extreme fundamentalist view that IVF produces 'products' rather than children as well as their view that discarding unused eggs = abortion.

He was disgusted by their attitude and so am I. I recommend his book highly.

Posted by: Rob Jase | October 6, 2008 3:48 PM

thanks good blog and post

Posted by: newkon | October 6, 2008 3:52 PM

Unbelievable. Not only can he not unequivocally say that McCain would be OK with IVF. He also brings up the straw man argument of fetal farming.

Posted by: Alric | October 6, 2008 4:00 PM

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