IVF in the GOP platform


It looks like the Georgia gubernatorial primaries are going to include a discussion about the merits, or not, of limiting some IVF procedures. Republicans in particular are going on the record.

As a result of the octuplets born in California last year, legislation has been discussed and passed in many states regarding the use and possible abuse of IVF. For many years there has been discussion about the moral implications of what to do with “leftover” embryos. These two topics are dovetailing in Georgia with GOP candidates Karen Handel and Rep. Nathan Deal.

Last year, Georgia state legislators considered a bill which would limit the number of embryos a doctor can create and implant. The bill was later amended to restrict embryonic stem cell research in Georgia and eventually passed the Senate but did not advance in the state House. So for Georgia, the issue is particularly timely.

Handel, a long time politician and former Georgia secretary of state, underwent fertility treatment herself and balked at the idea of restricting anyone’s options. “I could never look another family in the face and say that I was going to do something that would take away their ability -- their hope -- of having a child,” she explained.

Deal has a different point of view: “We should not be creating life that is then going to be used for other purposes whereby it’s going to be destroyed.” He said he would support some limits developed with the input of doctors. He made it clear that he would not restrict to a specific number. Deal has also consistently maintained a life begins at fertilization perspective.

For the GOP this is a hot button issue. Whether or not in these tough economic times birth topics will get the kind of attention they have in the past remains to be seen. But it looks like the issues will be debated not just between political parties but inside them. We’ll see if it makes a difference to the voters this year.

Source: National Partnership for Women & Families


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