Do we really want Uncle Sam in our uterus?
I feel kind of like my last few blog entries have been rather angry sounding – I ranted about the fact that being a parent is NOT a luxury, and then I before that I told Arizona where to stick it, and of course, lest we forget, I was pretty steamed when I wrote about the post about my egg donor really not being a hooker. And here I am once again writing about the government and really wanting them to stay out of my uterus.
It’s really kind of a scary thought isn’t it? To be told by the US Government what you can and cannot do with your own body. We went through this in 1973 during Roe vs Wade, and if I predict in the next ten years our reproductive rights will be controlled once again and we will be limited in what we can and can’t do to create or grow our families severely limiting our choices.
I’m asked a lot of I am pro choice or pro life. It’s not that simple of a question for me – I won’t say I am PRO abortion. Who really is pro abortion? I mean come on really — If you ask any woman who has gone through that experience they certainly aren’t going to tell you “Wow, I loved it! Best experience ever! It was so fun, I went and had a massage, pedicure, and facial afterwards with my girlfriends!”
My response to that question is always the same – My hope would be that a baby would be born from an unplanned pregnancy and that baby would be placed with someone who can love that baby and give that baby the wonderful life he or she so richly deserves. Am I going to judge someone who has had an abortion? Not on your life. I am all about choices. And those choices start with our bodies.
The journey through infertility is hard. It’s made harder by those who think that bringing high multiples into the world is a good thing. My opinion is that babies really should be born one at a time. Not in litters. I can’t even say I am a huge fan of twin births, but I understand why those occur. And really anyone who has more than triplets, I wonder about their sanity.
But again that’s just me.
My point to this (and really it’s not a rant, it’s a huge concern), is that if the government begins to once again stick its nose where it doesn’t belong (in my uterus), once again limiting my family building options it’s going to be bad for me, you, and anyone else who is using TPR (Third Party Reproduction) to create their family.
What’s the remedy?
Well, we are supposed to be a self regulating industry. And I don’t see a whole lotta self regulation going on. That was pretty evident with the Octomom case. Now she’s regretful, and feeling guilty. And you know who’s going to end up supporting those kids don’t you? Me and you and the rest of the USA who pays federal taxes.
I know there’s a lot of eye rolling when we talk about ASRM and their guidelines regarding egg donation, egg donor compensation, and treatment. I hear all the time, “They are just guidelines not rules. When they make them laws and rules we will then abide.” And frankly it’s frustrating. I am asked over and over “Why can’t they do something.” And I truly don’t have an answer. One of the issues is there is no governing body regarding egg donation agencies. Anyone can open an egg donation agency. You don’t have to be licensed (except for a business license), you don’t have to be certified. (Unless you are in New York).
So really, it’s the wild wild west. And sometimes it can be scary if you don’t know who you are dealing with. I have seen lots of money lost through bad agencies.
Then there is the whole compensation issue. Half the class says “It’s a free market don’t tell me what I can and can’t spend.” The other half of the class says “Anything over ten thousand dollars is exploitation and wrong.” I am of the opinion that when lots of money changes hands the listening goes right out the window. And what I mean is that money becomes the focus not what’s really going on. Donating eggs is a serious business. It’s invasive, it’s a surgical procedure, there’s drugs involved, your life style for 10 weeks has to change drastically, it’s a lot of responsibility. And sometimes when thousands of dollars is involved the focus of what’s really going on changes to “I can endure anything for 60 days for 15k” and that clearly isn’t the attitude to have.
As you can see we have a few problems that need to be addressed, thought through and ironed out. But I hope we as an industry can band together and do it ourselves without the US Government stepping in. If they step in and begin to regulate things like they do everything else the cost is going to go up, the donor population is going to dry up, and where will be then?