Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Risks to IVF Kids- Seton Hall

Tonight, I am in Newark, NJ, after debating same sex marriage at Seton Hall Law School. In the questions and answers, a student asserted that there are no developmental issues associated with IVF children being raised in heterosexual married couples, by one bio parent and one non-bio parent. I stopped her right there: do you assert that, or do you know that? She said she asserted it. My argument at the time is that no one has even asked the question of the impact on children's development in those households. Nor, has anyone asked about the divorce rate among married couples using one donor gamete.
Now, I just found a report from the UK that IVF children are at higher risk for medical conditions.
The British government's embryo research authority has warned potential parents that children conceived artificially through in vitro fertilization have a thirty percent higher risk of genetic abnormalities.

Reports of higher levels of birth defects among IVF children have been making headlines since at least 2003, but the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has only this week issued a warning on the matter. The HFEA said that parents should be told of the risks associated with IVF, but emphasized that not all the risks are fully understood and more research is needed.

That's nice: now you tell us. After using desparate infertile women and their children as human guinea pigs, you deign to inform us that women should be given more information. What kind of defects are we talking about?
The Daily Mail notes that research by the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, published online last month in the Human Reproduction journal, found that IVF babies suffer from heart valve defects, cleft lip and palate, and digestive system abnormalities due to the bowel or esophagus failing to form properly.

For years researchers have warned that IVF children risk complications such as Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome; rare urological defects including bladder development outside the body; heart or central nervous system abnormalities, and dangerously low birth weight.

I'd say women have a right to know. They have a right to be informed while they are young, in their twenties, and before they make a plan that "oh, if I don't find a husband, I can always do IVF with donor sperm."

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