Or rather, why can’t they just be honest about what they don’t like?
The ad features a woman talking about her daughter, who needed money for college. She “sold her eggs to a fertility clinic,” the woman says. “The surgery was painful. They give you powerful hormones to produce more eggs. And now, she may never have children.” The ad ends with the warning that Amendment 2 will increase the need for human eggs for research.
As the KC Star’s Election Central (linked above) notes,
the ad never claims that egg donation was the reason that the daughter “may never have children.” But the implication is that the egg donation made her sterile.
Fertility experts at the University of Kansas, the San Francisco campus of the University of California and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine said studies that followed women for more than 10 years have found no evidence that even multiple egg donation leads to future fertility problems. Many women donate eggs, have children, and donate again.
Indeed, the procedure involved here is the same one that thousands of couples have used in order to have children. Whether you are donating eggs to researchers, to another couple, or to yourself for in vitro fertilization, the process is what is described in the ad. And you don’t see too many protesters outside IVF clinics. Does the “Life Communications Fund” really hate to see women get pregnant? Of course not.
But the real hypocrisy is even bigger.
One part of IVF that no one likes to talk about is the stage called “selective reduction.” A dozen or so eggs are fertilized in the lab, then allowed to grow. Some don’t even start dividing, so they are discarded. Others grow too slowly, and are also tossed out. The best 3–5 eggs are implanted in the woman’s uterus after a week or so.
They do this because, even in natural pregnancies, the number of spontaneous abortions is enormous. Early in development, a lot can go wrong, and a lot of embryos die on their own as a result. Implanting multiple embryos hedges against that, and also protects against problems caused specifically by the manipulations involved in IVF.
Then, a few months later, the doctors check the developing embryos and remove all but one or two of them. This is called selective reduction or selective harvesting, and the procedure is medically no different than an abortion.
No one questions this practice. No one insists that all the fertilized eggs be implanted, nor that all the embryos must be brought to term. It is a central hypocrisy of the anti-abortion and anti-stem cell movements that they don’t parade pictures of aborted fetuses outside fertility clinics.
It is a central hypocrisy of any movement claiming to be pro-life that it would oppose putting those fertilized eggs to use in research that could yield cures or treatments for debilitating illnesses.