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29 comments

(Sending this reply to you directly as well since I think it's important)

IVF is not a "fast food menu for children". It is a procedure for many women who want children but can't have them the "old fashioned way" used for various reasons, including health reasons (some women for instance don't ovulate normally), lesbian women using donor sperm, etc.

It sounds like what you're referencing is the CRISPR controversy where one scientist in China actually edited the genes of embryos, he went to jail and the whole thing is wildly controversial and not at all done as a general practice.

Due to the way IVF works, they do select embryos that are viable to proceed with a pregnancy, which means checking chromosome irregularities. This does filter out Down's syndrome in particular which I concede is its own ethical set of questions, but generally it just filters out cases where either no pregnancy would happen whatsoever (embryo would fail to implant) OR it would lead to a chemical pregnancy/miscarriage/etc -- the female human body is already "aborting" non viable pregnancies in those instances, it just saves the woman of the emotional hardship of implanting an embryo that literally would never be compatible with life and having to go through a miscarriage.

The side effect of testing chromosomes is that the embryology lab does indeed find out which embryos will lead to a female vs male fetus. A lot of countries (including the biggest offenders of sex selective abortions, such as China and India) outright ban informing the patient of the sex of the embryo or letting them choose the sex of the baby, though weirdly the USA does not, in my experience from IVF support groups, most women ask to not know the sex of the baby anyway.

Beyond that, there is no "selection of physical traits". I mean, I suppose if you want to get into semantics, you could argue a lesbian couple choosing a sperm donor is selecting for whatever genetic traits, but then you might as well argue that straight couples when choosing a spouse are selecting for whatever traits, sounds like a reach to me.

the female human body is already "aborting" non viable pregnancies in those instances, it just saves the woman of the emotional hardship of implanting an embryo that literally would never be compatible with life and having to go through a miscarriage.

No, the female human body is not aborting non-viable pregnancies in those instances. Zygotes and blastocysts that naturally self-destruct instead of implanting, or fail to implant because they can't grow a proper placenta, are following instructions encoded in their own DNA - nearly half of which comes from the father. The bodies of the women these clumps of cells are inside at the time are not terminating or aborting them. Women's bodies are not to blame here!

It's very common for fertilization to occur in its normal customary place in one of the Fallopian tubes without implantation in the uterus and thus viable pregnancy resulting. Zygotes/blastocysts that "fail to take" and naturally die or self-destruct due to genetic issues encoded within their own cells because of their own DNA are not the same as aborted embryos or fetuses. These are not pregnancies done in, killed off or aborted by the female bodies of the women within whose reproductive systems these totally natural, normal processes occur.

When zygotes/blastocysts fail to make the journey from the Fallopian tube to the uterus following fertilization and they instead implant and start growing a placenta inside the tube - as happens in ectopic pregnancies - it's not the fault of the female human body, either.