Monday, July 09, 2007

German IVF Industry: Less regulations will protect human embryos

Proponents of fewer restrictions on in-vitro fertilization in Germany have a press release where they claim Germany's law which regulates the number of human embryos (a maximum of 3) created and implanted per IVF cycle and prevents the freezing or discarding of human embryos is "killing embryos rather than protecting them."

Their evidence? Out of 8,500 deliveries from IVF in 2004, there were 222 cases where the parents aborted at least one of their children using "fetal reduction."

Now imagine for a second, how many human embryos would have been created, frozen, and discarded if Germany didn't have the laws it does? A heck of a lot more than 222. It probably would have been in the tens of thousands.

Here's how Professor Ricardo Felberbaum defends his group's thinking.
"It is far worse to kill embryos after they have implanted in a woman's womb, than it is to take embryos before implantation, when they are no more than a collection of cells, freeze any surplus embryos and transfer no more than one or two embryos at one time. It is best that only those with the highest implantation potential are used, leading to healthy singleton pregnancies.

"As the law currently stands it is killing embryos rather than protecting them," he concluded.
Somehow Felberbaum thinks that killing embryos earlier in life or freezing them (which ends up killing about half of them) is protecting them.

For some reason Felberbaum makes no argument for my it is "far worse" to kill embryos thru abortion than by freezing them and discarding them. He notes the embryos are smaller and not implanted but I don't see a reason for why these criteria make killing some human beings "far worse" than killing others. Also notice, how the answer to the 222 fetal reduction abortions in 2004 isn't preventing or regulating those abortions, it's creating and freezing more human embryos. I also can't see how scrapping the IVF regulations will lower the number of fetal reduction abortions. Less regulations seem to open the door for German IVF practitioners to implant more than 3 human embryos per cycle, which would likely lead to more multiple pregnancies and more fetal reduction abortions.

I think its obvious that Felberbaum's real reason for being opposed to Germany's IVF laws isn't protecting those human embryos created by IVF but being allowed to practice his trade without the government regulating him and his colleagues.

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