Wednesday, October 7, 2015

How IVF and our reproductive technology devalues women. . .

A growing number of clinics in the United States now offer a controversial service called “family balancing” or “nonmedical sex selection.” Fertility Institutes, a network known for sex selection services in Los Angeles, New York, and Mexico City, says nearly 90 percent of its clients have no medical fertility issues, but instead come from the U.S. and abroad to ensure their next child’s gender, The Wall Street Journal reported. For about $18,000, the clinic offers parents a 99.99 percent guarantee of their chosen gender and evaluation of all 46 chromosomes in the embryo for genetic disease.

The process, legal in only a few countries including the U.S. and Mexico, combines in vitro fertilization (IVF) with genetic testing to guarantee accuracy. Couples undergo IVF—the woman’s eggs and her partner’s sperm are used to create embryos. Instead of implanting right away, the embryos are first tested using preimplantation genetic diagnosis. The test is often used to determine if an embryo has any genetic diseases, but it also identifies the sex of the embryo. In the sex-selection process, only the embryos of the desired sex are then implanted in the woman.  Read the rest here. . .

I suppose we might say that if people are paying the freight for the cost of reproductive technology, they ought to get what they want (what they are willing to pay for).  The reality of this is that the vast majority of choices are made to select male embryos, not female.  So what about those not chosen or found to be of the wrong sex?  The conceived embryos of the “wrong” gender are discarded or indefinitely frozen.

Hmmm... another case in which the fruits of feminism, the power of choice, and the privilege of technology has worked against women instead of for them.

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