(Includes a “chat” with a company that does sex-selection fertility treatments.)
I heard a story on the news yesterday about an Australian couple who mortgaged their house to travel to the United States for sex-selection in vitro treatments. Parents of three boys, they now wanted a girl. Sex-selection fertility, also known euphemistically as “family balancing,” is illegal in Australia. But here in Abortion Land? No worries.
I searched for the story and found this Guardian article:
Cornwill says Emmerson’s birth came after years of “gender disappointment” caused by longing for a daughter?
“It’s like mourning the death of a child you never had,” she said. “My husband wanted a little girl that one day he could walk down the aisle, I wanted a daughter so I could have that relationship … and our sons wanted a little sister.”
I also searched for information on sex selection and found The Fertility Institutes. I opened the Live Chat window and asked “Sheryl” a question: Are fertilized eggs and embryos destroyed during the sex selection process?
“Sheryl” was suddenly too busy to chat with me. The system recommended I contact them through e-mail. I refreshed and tried to chat again, but I got the same e-mail window. I tried again a couple hours later and chatted with “Nikkema.” This is the exchange:
Me: Are fertilized eggs and embryos destroyed during the sex selection process?
Nikkema: The PGD process that we use is a time proven, highly accurate (99.99%) and VERY safe method that has never been found to cause any problems in the babies. In fact, we often use the method in patients that have had a child in the past on their own that had a genetic problem. Our methods prevent this from happening again. Our Doctors, geneticists and scientists are world renown for their expertise. They teach at Universities and are well respected.
(Non-responsive company line.)
Me: Let me rephrase. Do fertilized eggs and embryos that don’t get implanted get destroyed? What happens to “leftover” fertilized eggs and embryos?
Nikkema: It is up to you! You can chose to freeze donate to another couple or donate them for research
Me: What happens to fertilized eggs and embryos that fail implantation?
Nikkema: Embryos that have been implanted and fail result in a miscarriage
Me: So people can donate, freeze, or have “leftovers” destroyed?
Nikkema: Embryos that have been implanted and fail result in a miscarriage…Nothing is destroyed
Me: So fertilized eggs either die after failed implantation, frozen, or donated for stem cell research?
Nikkema: Nothing dies….. some eggs do not fertilize and some embryos do not progress
Me: “Miscarriage” would imply something dies. And the question about stem cell research?
Nikkema: And some pregnancies don’t catch and some pregnancies are not viable the body does what the body wants it happens with or without Assisted Reproductive Technology
Me: Fertilizing cells and implanting a bunch of embryos, knowing many won’t “catch,” is quite different from natural miscarriages. What about stem cell research?
Nikkema: I never mentioned Stem Cell research and you are assuming that “many” embryos are implanted and technically a miscarriage is a miscarriage. And couples are really sad when it happens regardless of how the pregnancy happens. We just try to help couples achieve the family that they have prayed for. [smile]
Me: Okay, how many embryos are implanted, and what sort of research is involved with donated embryos?
Nikkema: The amount is decided by the doctor and the couple. Some couple do not want to chance getting multiples so they ask the doctor to only implant 1, and some couple really want twins so they ask the doctor to implant 2-3. I haven’t see anyone go higher than that. Also I am not sure what type of research our Embryology Department handles that, but I hear that some do go for Stem Cell Research [wink]
I thanked “Nikkema” for her time after she said she had to move on to other chatters. Useful information? Some embryos obviously will fail implantation, and though “Nikkema” didn’t want to say it, embryos are eventually destroyed, whether tossed or used for stem cell research.
Many pro-lifers, including myself, believe life begins at conception — when egg and sperm meet and cells begin dividing. Destroying the fertilized egg is destroying human life. It’s one thing if a doctor selects sperm carrying only the XY chromosome pair for people who want a boy, for example, and toss the rest. These are human cells, but they’re not human beings. It’s a whole different matter once the male and female sex cells unite and begin creating a person.
Is this unethical and ungodly? In wisdom often beyond human understanding, God designed the natural ratio of about 105 boys born for every 100 girls. The more prevalent sex selection becomes, whether through in vitro or abortion, the more these doctors and complicit parents skew this ratio. The results can be disastrous. In countries like China, where boys are preferred, around 119 boys (some sources report higher) are born for every 100 girls.
The consequences? Skewed demographics with a shortage of women for the men. Lots of unattached men without the strong stabilizing influence of marriage.