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Pro-Choice and Pro-Voice

Posts tagged ivf

Mar 6 '14
May 4 '13
May 23 '12
Apr 8 '12

Anti-Choicers Now Protesting At Fertility Clinics

grainnemcmahon:

Inevitable: Anti-Choicers Now Protesting At Fertility Clinics

Seriously, they are soon going to start policing our menstruation.

I guess this is the logical extension of believing that fertilized eggs are the exact equivalent of living, born, breathing people.

Pro-Life Action League is now protesting fertility clinics.  No. Really. They are trying to block a new clinic in Naperville, IL, and if they aren’t successful, they promise to protest it “just like a Planned Parenthood.”

Via Medill News:

A major anti-abortion group has expanded its scope beyond abortion clinics to include protests against in vitro fertilization clinics.

“There is no moral difference between those children and the children being killed down the road at Planned Parenthood,” [Pro-Life Action League Executive Director Eric] Scheidler said at the council meeting, “and justice is due to those children. If that justice is not done by this council today then you must know, that justice will be done through public protest at Dr. Morris’ facility.”

Yes, “pro-life” now means “pro-life-created-exactly-the-way-I-believe-it-should-be-created.”

…at least they’re consistent?

(Source: slender-means)

Apr 7 '12
celluloidlove:




Elizabeth Banks: I Thank Birth Control Pills for My Son
Just over a year ago, my son Felix was born via gestational surrogacy. He came out of me nine months early and because of my broken belly, his babycake was baked in a wonderful angel’s oven and now — I can’t believe it — he’s a year old and walking. He has expanded my capacity for joy a thousand-fold.
His life would have been much harder to come by if not for the birth control pill. How’s that, you ask? Well, it’s a simple fact: The pill is used for many situations that have nothing to do with the prevention of pregnancy. The pill was prescribed to me when hormonally induced migraines kept me locked up in dark rooms for days at a time. It was prescribed to me to regulate insanely painful cramps every month — cramps so painful that I often vomited.
And here’s a little secret I am happy to blow the lid off of: The pill is often prescribed during the IVF (in vitro fertilization) process to help MAKE BABIES! That’s right, women dealing with infertility are often put on the pill to help regulate a cycle so that they might have a more successful IVF. The pill is used to manage ovarian cysts, endometriosis and other conditions too. Not to mention, it helps couples plan for wanted children.
Obviously, I’m not a doctor. I’m just a woman grateful for my necessary and very helpful medication. And I’m sure glad I don’t have to discuss any of these conditions, including infertility, with my employer.
A girlfriend and I recently wondered what would be more mortifying: having to tell her male employer she needed birth control to mitigate a heavy flow or just bleeding all over herself in the office?
So with that image in mind, I encourage all women — and the men in their lives — to protect access to birth control, and encourage our politicians to take women’s health issues out of the political process.
For more information, please visit the most comprehensive and willing advocates for women’s health in America: www.plannedparenthood.org.





Cheesy as that whole sentence was, I love the idea of a “babycake.”
Also, a reminder that these bills will affect anyone who is able to get pregnant, not just cis women.

celluloidlove:

Elizabeth Banks: I Thank Birth Control Pills for My Son

Just over a year ago, my son Felix was born via gestational surrogacy. He came out of me nine months early and because of my broken belly, his babycake was baked in a wonderful angel’s oven and now — I can’t believe it — he’s a year old and walking. He has expanded my capacity for joy a thousand-fold.

His life would have been much harder to come by if not for the birth control pill. How’s that, you ask? Well, it’s a simple fact: The pill is used for many situations that have nothing to do with the prevention of pregnancy. The pill was prescribed to me when hormonally induced migraines kept me locked up in dark rooms for days at a time. It was prescribed to me to regulate insanely painful cramps every month — cramps so painful that I often vomited.

And here’s a little secret I am happy to blow the lid off of: The pill is often prescribed during the IVF (in vitro fertilization) process to help MAKE BABIES! That’s right, women dealing with infertility are often put on the pill to help regulate a cycle so that they might have a more successful IVF. The pill is used to manage ovarian cysts, endometriosis and other conditions too. Not to mention, it helps couples plan for wanted children.

Obviously, I’m not a doctor. I’m just a woman grateful for my necessary and very helpful medication. And I’m sure glad I don’t have to discuss any of these conditions, including infertility, with my employer.

A girlfriend and I recently wondered what would be more mortifying: having to tell her male employer she needed birth control to mitigate a heavy flow or just bleeding all over herself in the office?

So with that image in mind, I encourage all women — and the men in their lives — to protect access to birth control, and encourage our politicians to take women’s health issues out of the political process.

For more information, please visit the most comprehensive and willing advocates for women’s health in America: www.plannedparenthood.org.

image

Cheesy as that whole sentence was, I love the idea of a “babycake.”

Also, a reminder that these bills will affect anyone who is able to get pregnant, not just cis women.

(Source: judygrimes)

Dec 15 '11

I officially have a favourite anti-choicer. Her FAQ says:

nessfraserloves:

I see abortion as a repressive institution used to deny a woman’s basic biology and, somehow, convince here that her biology is “wrong.” By trying to make ourselves men, we devalue what it means to be a woman. We should be taking back this amazing ability we have to create unique human beings not trying to suppress it as much as possible.

This is her reason behind being a “pro-life feminist.” LOLNO.

So, basically, this really lovely person thinks that it is a woman’s biological duty to bear children and not doing so is somehow going against nature and “devaluing what it means to be a woman.”

So I guess, as a 20-year old who has yet to have children and has taken precautions against ever getting pregnant — I am somehow less of a woman than those who have had children? What about those people who prefer to be childfree? What about women without the capacity to have children? I guess they’re all just trying to be MEN.

Well, I think here she’s making it pretty clear that “women as incubators” is what her feminism is all about.

Oh, and she’s a doula — just let that sink in for a minute.

That’s a pretty fucking disgusting thing to say, especially when you consider, like you said, women who can’t have children for one reason or another. Women who are sterile, who have health conditions preventing them from safely carrying a pregnancy, or who don’t have uteruses or vaginas - are they not just as much women as any biological mother? If this person ever checked the #infertility, #ttc (trying to conceive) or #ivf tag, I hope they’d take their words back, because that’s an absolutely appalling thing to say of those women.

If she ever checked the #trans/#transgender, #mtf or #ftm tags, her head would probably explode.

Over half of all women who get abortions have already had children. They know what their biology means. They know what it is like to carry a pregnancy, give birth, and be a mother. Yet, somehow, a complete stranger presumes to know better than them what their womanhood means, and what is valuable to them?

I see being anti-choice as an oppressive institution to deny a person’s ability to choose their reproductive futures, and as a way to reduce our humanness to our reproductive organs.

I’m going to be traveling soon, and I’ve checked out a book I already recommend to everyone: Life Choices: The Teachings of Abortion, by Linda Weber. It is, as so many of these books unfortunately are, cissexist, but I think it offers a beautiful new perspective on abortion and what it means in the context of our lives.

Abortion is an intrinsic part of the collective experience of women with motherhood. As abortion negates the prospect of motherhood, so does it affirm its power. Abortion freely chosen brings into question the idea that it is motherhood that gives women their identity. It raises the possibility for women to determine their own personal experience of motherhood, rather than having our destiny determined for us by the institution of motherhood.

Nov 8 '11

ladyatheist:

Since Mississippi’s Initiative 26 will ban both In Vitro Fertilization and birth control, it will say “fuck you” to the people who want kids and force people who don’t want kids to have them. Doesn’t seem very “pro-life” to me.

(Source: womanistgamergirl)

Nov 3 '11

Choice!

I just reblogged a list on someone’s personal pro-choice philosophy, which has already garnered a number of positive responses.

Nessfraserloves correctly pointed out that not all of the items on the list were choices - I assume the points addressing sexuality and gender identity. However, there are some things to consider about the other choices on the list.

We know choice doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Socioeconomic status, relationship status, religion, race, gender identity, sexuality, ability and past experiences all play a part in our reproductive futures, and to say that, for example, a home birth with a full birthing team is just as viable a choice for one person as it is another would be to ignore these factors.

Being pro-choice means supporting and fighting for access to affordable reproductive care for everybody. Too often the pro-choice movement has left behind those who are not white, well-off, able-bodied, and straight. We let injustices occur under our noses - the sterilization of people of color, the refusal to treat people who do not fit neatly into the gender binary, and those who are virtually forced to give up their babies for adoption because they cannot afford to care for them, much as they may want to.

Being pro-choice also means working to improve the conditions that play a role in our reproductive futures - affordable education, support for parents and children of all incomes, sexualities, gender identities, and abilities, safe places for abuse survivors, education on sex, sexuality and birth control, affordable housing, affordable health care, a better foster care system, and the destigmatization of reproductive experiences like abortion, adoption, infertility, surrogacy, and voluntary sterilization.

How do you support choice?

Sep 7 '11

IVF in Layman’s Terms

itsalovething2:

I wrote this post back in March, but figured since we’re going through IVF again and new followers are reading our 2.0 blog every day that I would post this again. :)

I wanted to write a post basically for those people who really don’t “get” IVF. Since coming open about our fertility struggles, dealing with infertility and having to do in vitro fertilization I have realized a lot of people really do not understand it. I’ve had a few people respond with “Oh like the Octo-mom? Does that mean you’ll have lots of babies?” and that’s pretty much the extent of their knowledge.

I’ve come to realize that although there can be some disadvantages to telling people, there are certain advantages to telling people too. For one, you don’t get the endless questions about when you’re going to have a baby or asked if you’re trying every day. You’re friends and family will try to be sympathetic and understanding. However, you have to accept that no one can fully appreciate what IVF is like unless they’ve been through it themselves. Everyone has an opinion about IVF and wish so much information out there, people sometimes assume they know a lot about it.

We all grow up believing that we will be able to have a family when we are ready. It can come as a surprise to know how common it is for couples to have a hard time conceiving. 1 in 3 couples today suffer from infertility and will need some sort of fertility treatment. Whether it be help from fertility drug(s), monitored cycles, IUI’s or even IVF. Although a lot of people have heard of IVF due to the media (Jon & Kate + 8, Octo Mom, Angelina Jolie) a lot of people don’t truly understand how much time and emotion and money goes into it.

So What is IVF?
IVF is a form of assisted conception used to help people with fertility problems. The Initials stand for In Vitro Fertilization, and during IVF eggs are fertilized in the lab, rather then inside the female body. The term In Vitro means “in glass”, and so people often assume embryos are created in glass test tubes - which lead to the term “test-tube babies”. This however is not true. The egg, sperm and embryos are kept in petri dishes.

In simple terms, IVF involves taking eggs from a woman’s ovaries, and mixing them with the sperm in a dish. If a sperm breaks into the egg and fertilizes it, it will become an embryo. In some cases however the eggs are fertilized by using ICSI (intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection) Most people will be more familiar with ICSI then they think, as television and articles usually use images of ICSI to illustrate all kinds of stories about infertility. We’ve all seen them - those pictures of a hollow needle being pushed into an egg actually illustrate ICSI rather then normal IVF. Chris and I will be going the route of ICSI.

Each attempt at IVF is called a cycle, and drugs are used as part of the treatment to allow doctors to take control of your hormones in order to produce more then one egg…many more. You are monitored very closely from the first day of your period until you are ready for egg retrieval. The egg retrieval is not a pleasant procedure. Some women are put out while others are just heavily medicated for pain management.
Using an internal ultrasound they attach a needle which pokes through the wall of the vagina (ouch) in able to reach to ovaries. (your ovaries are located directly behind the vagina) They then use a vaccum type instrument that sucks the eggs out of the follicles and into a test tube. The Ebryologist will then take the contents of the test tube and view it under a microscope. He will remove the mature eggs and discard the rest.

Once the ICSI eggs have been injected with sperm, they will be left to fertilize. They have to be kept in the correct conditions for this to happen and the incubators used to store them are maintained at body temperature. The level of carbon dioxide in the air is controlled along with the humidity. The embryos will then divide (grow) in the incubator for 3-5 days. Our clinic (and most others) encourage patients to leave the embryos for five days, until they have reached the next level of development which is called BLASTOCYSTS. By day 4 the embryos have been dividing more rapidly and may contain anywhere from 10 to 30 cells. Embryos quite often stop growing at this stage, but if they continue developing for one more day, they begin to look very different. Instead of an evenly divided cell formation, the embryo will have a fluid cavity containing a lump of cells called the “inner cell mass”, which is the part that will grow into a baby. Pregnancy rates are higher after blastocyst transfer, as the embryos have already gone through a number of crucial stages of development.

During the embryo transfer the embryologist will get the embryos ready. This is done at the very last minute, so that the embryos spend as little time as possible out of the incubator. At this point you will be given the chance to see your embryos on the screen. I can only imagine just how surreal it will be to be able to see your baby(s) at the embryo stage. crazy! The embryos are stored in individual droplets of liquid which is then drawn up into a catheter. The doctor will insert the catheter into the vagina and up through the cervix. When is it in the right place, they squirt the embryos into the womb.

The Two Week Wait!
I am dreading this!!! From what I have read and from experiencing this when we did our IUI’s I can honestly this is probably the hardest part of the cycle. Constantly wondering if it worked and worrying about what you should or shouldn’t do. I kind of wish I could just go to sleep for these two weeks and wake up when it is time to take the pregnancy test.

Anyways that is my lamens terms of explaining the process of IVF. I could probably write a book and go into more detail about all the little appointments in between, daily ultrasounds, injections and the roller coaster ride you take with your emotions.
I just wanted to get it out there for some of my readers who know about IVF but don’t quite understand what really happens.

OH and thank you SO much for all the wonderful comments yesterday. I was so touched by all of the support and positive messages. I will be doing more videos once we start the whole procedure. I have been inspired by a few of you and love the idea of doing an injection on video and showing your true emotions and thoughts. :)

Love to you all!
XOX
~*A

Thank you for writing this, it’s really informative!

Aug 28 '11

When one door closes another doesn’t immediately open

wishinhopinprayin:

I knew this day was going to be emotional, so I subconsciously planned a hundred things to do in order to keep my mind off of it. What could be so heart-wrenching, you ask?

My last doctor’s appointment with my civilian specialist.

This morning I got up and took care to look extra adorable today. I broke out a super cute, dyed Karen Kane shirt, a pair of short shorts and some platform flip-flops. I did my hair extra cute. Then I went on my way to the base where my husband works.

Any woman out of uniform deserves a double-take on that island. I decided to give them something to see— the shorts, the strut, the head held high. I must have been a sight. My husband found it hilarious; though I know he was secretly proud to be walking next to me.

After I shook up the island, I headed to the sandwich shop, got myself a sammy and shoved it in my purse for the movie. I saw Fright Night, which was actually good— better than I thought it would be at least. Then I went to the Marshall’s next door and shopped around.

I almost walked out of there with a pair of grey canvas boots, a pair of brown Minnetonka moccasins, a men’s plaid shirt, a little black dress and a nightgown— but decided to push the cart into a corner of the store and walk out of there, saving my money.

I got to the doctor’s office just as the In-Clinic Movie of the Day started. It was Avatar, which was mildy pleasing because I adore the movie. Yet irritating at the same time because I wouldn’t be there to watch the entire thing. I decided to read a few chapters of my book, The Mill River Recluse, and zone out for a minute. I’m not bitter, but watching the pregnant women waddle in and out of the clinic is a little frustrating for me.

Forty minutes of being in the waiting room later, I was finally called back into a room. I declined to weigh myself, which is something I always do— I don’t need to know exactly how much I weigh. Then I was ushered back into a room next to the ultrasound room. Thinking back on it now, I know I should have put my earbuds in.

You see, I have the hearing of a Cocker Spaniel. I really do. I can’t be at a concert or a shooting range without my little foamy ear plugs. I carry a set in my purse, just in case the noise level gets too loud. If I’m succumbed to the fever pitch for too long, I’m at risk for having a panic attack. Being on sensory overload for too long is just too much for me to handle.

Well, it was too late before I even thought of putting in my ear plugs. Before I knew it I was listening through the wall to the heartbeat of a woman’s unborn baby. Boom boom boom boom boom, rapid little successive heartbeats. It sounded like something out of my childhood but sped up.

Up until the age of ten I slept with my teddy bear turned on. He had the little speaker box inside of him playing the sound of a mother’s heartbeat in-utero. I couldn’t sleep without him. Hell, I slept with him until I was sixteen, maybe later.

As I sat there all by myself in the little examining room, tears started to well in my eyes. A thousand thoughts ran through my head. Is that ever going to be me? That woman doesn’t know how lucky she is! I hope she’s happy, and I really mean that. How long will it take me to get pregnant? Will IVF work? Will we have to adopt? Will I ever be a parent or will I give up?

The thoughts raced.

That’s when I heard, “It’s a BOY!”

I took deep breaths. I would not cry. I did not cry.

The expectant mother in the next room started crying tears of joy. I let her shed a few tears for me too, even if she didn’t know she was doing it.

I know it will happen for us someday.

I left the office with the overwhelming sense of a door closing. I’m going to be released from that doctor’s office soon. As a matter of fact, I’m calling TRICARE tomorrow to figure it out. 

Soon I’ll be able to make my first appointment at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego. It won’t be until then that I will feel the sensation of another door opening.

Until it does, I’m going to try my hardest to stay in this positive state of being.

Without optimism, the weightiness of infertility could end up crushing me.

I won’t let it.

Infertility isn’t going to get me.

Aug 4 '11

Egg Retrieval and IVF for Trans Guys

artoftransliness:

Interested in having biological children but unsure about carrying them yourself? Have a womb-bearing partner willing to carry your children? IVF may be for you! It’s a big may though, since it’s a rather expensive and invasive procedure, but it can give you something a lot of trans* guys desire but fear they may never be able to have- biological children without the process of pregnancy. 

Basically with in-vitro fertilization (IVF) one would have their eggs extracted and fertilized outside of the body and then implanted into a uterus. Generally this procedure is utilized by heterosexual couples who have difficulty conceiving, and so the fertilized egg would be placed into the uterus of the woman who donated the egg (although sometimes the egg is a donor egg and so this is not the case), however it has also been used by lesbians and transgender men who wish to be genetically related to the child their partner carries. In certain cases, this procedure is also used for couples who are hiring a surrogate. 

This is a pretty complicated procedure that involves several steps, particularly for couples that don’t have any sperm on hand. Basically you’re going to need sperm, eggs, and a womb, and in the case of most straight trans men each of these components is going to come from a different person. Finding a sperm donor in of itself can be a challenge, but assuming you’ve done that the next major thing you have to worry about is egg extraction. Basically in order to get your eggs extracted you would need to lay of the testosterone a little while (just as if you were trying to get pregnant) and get an injection of a hormone that will force your eggs to mature. They will then be harvested while you are sedated. A more detailed description of the process can be found here

The egg is then fertilized in a petri dish and inserted into your partner’s (or a surrogate’s) uterus. Often multiple embryos are implanted at once. This is actually how Jon and Kate ended up with so many children, but these days it is far more likely that only two or three embryos will be implanted at a time instead of five or six. If the procedure is successful, though, it does up your chances of having twins. 

This is obviously not for everybody. Plenty of transguys would be deeply uncomfortable with one or more of these stages, and it usually ranges between 10,000-15,000 dollars in price, which isn’t exactly affordable. However for some guys this is an excellent option that is worth looking into. Its difficult to find resources for non female identified egg donors, but more information about IVF and egg extraction can be found at Fertility Connect and Infertility Resources. A step-by-step guide to IVF can be found here. As always, we are not medical professionals and you should consult with your doctor before planning for or undergoing IVF. 

Jul 6 '11
Jun 30 '11

acupuncturegirl:

Most of the gay women I know are well-educated about their fertility options, but I wanted to share this in honor of Gay Pride Month.

Attain Fertility and the American Fertility Association have a video exploring fertility options for gay women. The video, funded by Attain Fertility® Centers, is part of a series that addresses a wide range of fertility issues in addition to assisted reproduction options for lesbians.

Dr. Samuel C. Pang, Medical Director of the Reproductive Science Center of New England opens the video by discussing the importance of working with a doctor when choosing to become pregnant through alternative insemination. “This is especially important for women over 35 who may not have much time left to have a child and could potentially have infertility factors keeping them from getting pregnant,” he explains. Even for younger women, Dr. Pang stresses that “it’s prudent to get evaluated before embarking on donor sperm insemination” so that you know exactly what you are dealing with before investing the time, emotion and money into conceiving a child.

The video goes on to discuss the difference between using a known donor and a donor from a sperm bank. Among the major issues to consider are medical, social and legal as well as issues of cost.

Known Sperm Donor

For many gay women hoping to become mothers, the plus side of having a personal relationship with the donor is knowing that the donor and child(ren) will have a relationship throughout their lifetime. However, there are also legal issues to be considered with a known donor and it is imperative to understand the laws about donor insemination as they differ from state to state. It is also vitally important that issues from financial commitment to custody not only be discussed, but formalized in a legal contract. It is also important to understand that the personal relationship gay parents have with the donor may change over the course of time. Considering every possible scenario including the death of either or both moms and potential financial issues and discussing these issues with the donor will make the choice more tangible and safe for the parents, donor and the child.

Sperm Bank Donor

Among the top reasons gay women opt for a sperm bank donor are anonymity of identity and safety from infectious diseases. Sperm donors currently have the option of being anonymous so that none of their identifying information will ever be disclosed to any adult offspring born from their donation. Other donors may participate in a program that allows their identities to be released at the request of offspring 18 years of age or older. In addition, some registries enable donors and offspring to search for each other and their half-siblings. But at the end of the day, based on current laws, unknown donors cannot claim any legal rights to children born through their donations. In addition, buying anonymous donor sperm from a sperm bank is the safest route that woman can take concerning potential parental rights issues.

It is important to note that in the United States, there are no federal laws governing sperm donation, but there are FDA regulations in place that do have an impact on the process.

Fresh Sperm v. Frozen Sperm

Fresh sperm may actually be riskier than choosing to use frozen sperm. While frozen sperm from a sperm bank has been quarantined for at least 180 days and has had all FDA testing for infectious and sexually transmitted diseases, fresh sperm may be infected with a disease like HIV/AIDS since the infection typically doesn’t show up until a few months after infection. In addition, when working with a sperm bank:

The sperm bank must be licensed by the Board of Health

The sperm bank must obtain and present a detailed personal and sexual history of the donor

The sperm bank must obtain and present a thorough physical examination of the donor and screen out potential donors who are at increased risk for STIs

The sperm bank must screen for heritable diseases such as cystic fibrosis

In order to limit the number of half siblings that are generated from any one donor, strongly consider working with a sperm bank that controls the number of live births obtained from each donor.

Reciprocal IVF

With all of these options available, and no matter which a lesbian couple chooses, it is very important not to overlook one’s emotional and physical well-being. Good nutrition, healthy levels of exercise, giving up smoking and limiting alcohol intake along with maintaining a healthy emotional life will all contribute to a healthy and successful pregnancy.

For more information about fertility options for gay couples, visit AttainFertility.com