Oh. My. God. Cue the fire alarms because my head is about to explode. If you hear any stupid comments from fertiles this week, feel free to thank the jackasses over at MSN, thanks to this article on 'designer' babies, which was the leading banner today. In a clear effort to perpetuate the ignorant misconceptions about what reproductive medicine is truly designed to do, the author, Racheal Le.hmann-H.aupt (who will definitely be hearing from me) just made it that much harder to be infertile. As if we needed that.
Talk about taking a flying leap onto my shit list. From what I've gathered, in one fell swoop, this woman likened infertility treatments to picking out drapes that match the sofa, with no mention of the real stories behind infertility or the need for PGD. She quotes a psychologist (who is not medically trained, mind you) as saying, "One day you'll be able to select for sex, hair color, confidence index, whether they are an optimist or pessimist, whether they are an athlete or a bookworm." But rather than explaining how PGD is actually used today, she leaves it at that and segues immediately into sensationalizing the point that with current reproductive treatment, the 'future' may be closer than we think. Because, as you know, we're trying to create a 'master' race over here.
In failing to paint a full portrait of infertility and by not including any of its real cast members (besides the ones with limitless money and the vain quest for the perfect offspring, which represents .000001% of us), she has made the ignorant more ignorant. If this were your only introduction into PGD, wouldn't it seem to be a slippery ethical slope? This is likely the case for most people. I mean, let's consider the general population. They're closer to reading MSN than the RESOLVE website. And who besides your infertile buddies knew PGD even existed before you explained it to them? That number would be a big honking 0 for me. This is why I find this article so incredibly irresponsible. A true piece of anti-journalism. I believe that in writing this, the author did such a huge disservice to the IF community.
On top of making reproductive medicine out to solely be one's quest for their very own perfect Princeton-bound Aryan offspring, she also added insult to injury by making light of donor eggs, actually at one point comparing the selection process in the accompanying video to 'online dating'. There's no mention that by the time a couple reaches that point, they have been through the ringer with multiple failed IVFs and that a woman's door to a biological child has just been slammed shut in her face. And yet somehow she figured it was appropriate to liken it to online dating? Disgusting.
Further, she described the DC conference for the American Society of Reproductive Medicine as looking like 'a luxury shopping mall of futuristic baby making', as if we all walk into the RE's office and 'choose' which model baby we want. Yeah, I'll take the one who actually survives a pregnancy, thanks. Ugh! I am so disheartened by the message this article sends and that it somehow made it's way onto millions of computer screens. To know the stories of these brave men and women in the fight against IF, to be one of them, to be living in this hell, and to have someone spread more ignorance for the sake of her mediocre tabloid career sickens me. It just makes our fight that much harder.