Tuesday, December 5, 2006


Embryo donation agencies run by right-wing Christian groups want to define every two-celled fertilized egg in your fertility clinic's freezer as a baby. That's why they call what is legally embryo donation "embryo adoption". These conservative groups promote their anti-choice agenda using millions of dollars in tax-payer money "donated" to them by the religious zealots who control the US White House.

Why should an infertile couple care whether a fertilized egg is a baby or not? Because after getting a pre-embryo defined as a person, the next obvious step is to outlaw or restrict both In Vitro Fertilization and embryo donation.

Patients who use IVF and have excess frozen embryos could be forced to give them to other infertile couples, no matter how they feel about having additional, unknown offspring floating around. A private decision, about which few are neutral, will be dictated by evangelical Christians to all, no matter what their beliefs.

In Catholic countries such as Italy, where separation between church and state is not a right, this has already happened. Couples who use IVF to conceive their children must implant all the resulting embryos at once. They are not allowed to freeze embryos for future use.

Besides the obvious disadvantage of having to transfer lots of embryos and take the risk of birth defects from twins, triplets or higher-order multiples, there is a more severe problem with this: Why, in God's name, is the Pope making medical decisions? If he is a doctor, he is certainly only a doctor of divinity, not a physician. I would no more look to his advice about how to perform a medical procedure than I would the janitor at my office.

The religious zealots who are trying to dictate US policy on fertility treatment and other matters belong neither in our doctors' offices nor in our bedrooms. They should not be allowed to set policy on any aspect of fertility treatment, family law or really anything except what goes on within the four walls of their churches. The idea that our government is funneling our tax dollars to pay for their bigoted approach to embryo donation is criminal.

Again, I urge all embryo donors and recipients to use only Miracles Waiting. It is the only embryo donation site I know run by normal people who have dealt with fertility issues, not wolves in priests' clothing.