March 13, 2024

What to Expect When You’re Expecting to Talk about Invitro Fertilization (IVF)


Re-posted from our sister organization blog Students for Life of America

The Pro-Life Generation has been concerned for a quite a while about an industry that turns women as surrogates and preborn children into commodities, and that has as a central premise, the goal of creating disposable children.

The IVF industry is poorly regulated and too rarely monitored, with numerous media stories illustrating problems.

Case in point: The Alabama case that is recently in the news began with an allegedly sloppy operation that somehow allowed a client access to a sensitive storage area where embryos were accidentally destroyed, according to the court documents.

But all too often, reckless and negligent operations have resulted in all kinds of stories that have captured the public’s attention, stories that tell the true tale of incompetence or deliberate interference by a disreputable “doctor,” including just a few here:

The science has far outpaced a conversation with broader society about how to protect life and whether it’s a good idea to trade human lives and enslave women’s bodies in a contract. 

TO BE CLEAR, THIS IS BIG BUSINESS and used by many people, especially when you consider that “approximately 10% to 15% of couples will have difficulties getting pregnant.” Put another way: “Infertility affects approximately 1 in 8 couples in the United States. Since 1978, over 5 million children worldwide have been conceived via IVF.” In the U.S., the CDC indicates that about 4 million births per year, or between 1% and 2% of all births, involves children conceived using IVF.

According to a research report published by Spherical Insights & Consulting, in 2022 the global IVF market was $22.9 BILLION, expected to be $39.12 BILLION by 2032. And you can see that the costs rise quickly.

Forbes Magazine reported in an article title: How Much Does IVF Cost? that:

  • A single IVF cycle—defined as ovarian stimulation, egg retrieval and embryo transfer—can range from $15,000 to $30,000, depending on the center and the patient’s individual medication needs. Medications can account for up to 35% of those charges.
  • When you’re budgeting, consider that you may need to go through multiple embryo transfers or multiple full cycles of IVF.
  • If you’re using a sperm donor, egg donor, gestational carrier or surrogate, that may cost anywhere from an additional few hundred dollars for a sperm donation to tens of thousands of dollars for a carrier or surrogate.
  • Using a gestational carrier typically comes with legal fees and medical expenses. There are also agency fees if you choose to use an agency, as well as the fee paid to the person carrying the child. In all, expect to pay anywhere from $60,000 to $150,000+.
  • Other costs to name a few: Embryo cryopreservation: $1,000 to $2,000. Embryo storage: $350 to $600 a year. Genetic testing: $1,800 to $6,000

Though we don’t focus on IVF policy per se, we believe that a conversation on this topic is overdue given the life and death stakes. 

OUR PRIMARY CONCERN: Forcing fertilization in bulk to facilitate just a few births, with those not chosen facing a terrible end.

Because of the cost of IVF, and the fact that the vast majority of embryos (80%) produced during IVF and chosen for transfer still fail to implant or to result in a liveborn infant”,  IVF businesses will attempt to create human embryos in volume.

But those who are not selected may be frozen up to 10 years or “discarded or donated, either to others wanting to have children or to medical science,” reports the Washington Post.

Regulation of this wild, wild west of technology has been opposed. Consider this at The Federalist: Democrats’ Sweeping IVF Bill Aims To Stifle Regulation Of Unchecked Big Fertility Market … The measure “would permit individuals and Big Fertility facilities to sue if any state moves to impose even globally accepted common sense limits on procedures like IVF, surrogacy, and oocyte sales. It would also give President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice the justification to pursue action against any state, facility, or individual that tries to limit or regulate the use of past, present, and future baby-making tech.”

Some will point to faith, and Catholic teaching in particular, as a reason to oppose out of body, IVF technology. For many people that is reason enough.

But even for those who are not Catholic, the sloppy, under regulated, and chaotic world of the IVF industry leads many to the conclusion that IVF as practiced today raises troubling moral dilemmas, as lives conceived by contract are carelessly discarded as unwanted property.

The Catholic News Agency estimates that more die from IVF than abortion, stating:

“The CDC estimates that more than 238,000 patients attempted IVF in 2021. If clinics created between seven and eight embryos for every patient, that would yield about 1.6 million to 1.9 million over a year. Despite these high numbers, fewer than 100,000 embryos were brought to term, which suggests that somewhere between 1.5 million and 1.8 million embryos created through IVF were never born.

Alternatively, the abortion industry claimed about 985,000 lives from July 2022 through June 2023 — suggesting that the IVF industry could be ending nearly twice as many human lives every year.”

A business model that by design leads to disposable human beings, deemed unworthy of life or too many to bother with, is fatally flawed, when we consider that each life deserves a chance.

However, the Pro-Life Generation rejects prejudice against people based on age, sex, race, stage of development, parental income, perception of abilities, or the events of conception.

Those children conceived through IVF are valuable people, as are their brothers and sisters in cold storage.

Our love and acceptance of the people whose lives began with IVF does not mean we give rubber stamp approval to an industry that is not geared around ensuring that all lives conceived with the technology will thrive. There are a lot of problems with the business model and a lot of people left behind.

We hope that with IVF back in the news, a better conversation will begin about how to care for all preborn life – no matter their location.

Some of what we’ve written on this:

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