Wednesday, July 26, 2006

America's Embryo Glut .....

"Souls On Ice: America’s Embryo Glut and the Wasted Promise of Stem Cell Research

How 500,000 frozen embryos are forcing us to rethink life, choice, and reproductive freedom"

Blog: Fold / Spindle / Mutilate 2.0
By Liza Mundy
July 23, 2006

An interesting but LONG article.


Similarly, the federal government, in its role as regulator, has found the embryo a slippery creature to define. In 2002, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services began distributing grants to groups willing to raise public awareness about what the Bush administration likes to call “embryo adoption.” Also known as “embryo donation,” this is a process whereby embryos are relinquished by whoever created them and handed over to another couple, or person. In most states, this is essentially a property transfer, not an adoption, and advocates for the infertile, as well as old-line reproductive rights groups, fear the use of the word “adoption” is one more attempt to confer humanhood on the embryo, a backdoor anti-abortion sally. They are right: To dramatize his opposition to federal funding for stem cell research, Bush in May 2005 posed with a group of “Snowflakes” babies, children who started life as leftover ivf embryos and were donated to other couples, thanks to the brokerage of an explicitly Christian, explicitly pro-life embryo adoption group called Snowflakes.

Inconveniently for the president, at that very moment the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was in the process of categorizing the human embryo as biological tissue, thereby putting into effect strict disease-testing requirements that would make embryo adoption, or donation, impossible. Clinics feared they would need to close down their donation programs. At the last moment, an exemption for embryos was carved out, and embryo donations were permitted to go forward. The infertility lobby was delighted and a little smug, not just because doctors and patients’ groups support embryo donation (which they do), but because “tissue” remains the designation conferred on embryos by the fda. Like abortion rights groups, the infertility field likes this designation, which helps preserve for it total reproductive freedom by encouraging the notion of the embryo as a multicelled clump of tissue.

Liza Mundy is a staff writer for the Washington Post.


katty said...

I don't want you to be discouraged by 0 comments. So I delurked for a moment!
And thank you for your good wishes.

DI_Dad said...

lol.....thank you.. the news excerpts never really get comments...nor did I expect them...

- Eric