American anti-abortion extremists are already waging war on IVF | Arwa Mahdawi
Are Republicans coming for IVF?
Going through fertility treatment isn’t fun at the best of times: it’s expensive, invasive, and emotionally draining. Since Roe v Wade was canceled earlier this year, however, getting fertility treatments in the United States has become exponentially more stressful; Roe’s end sparked a series of new personality bills in Republican states that define a fertilized egg or embryo as a legal human entity. If you know anything about in vitro fertilization (IVF), which I’m not sure any of the men writing these personality bills know, you’ll know immediately that it makes IVF extremely complex. Many embryos are usually created during the IVF process because not all of them will be genetically viable. Non-viable embryos, as well as embryos that are not donated or frozen for later use, will be discarded. If these collections of cells are considered persons, then according to the personality laws you have committed a crime by disposing of them.
Wait a second, you say. If you have the nerve to call yourself “pro-life,” then shouldn’t you make it easier for people who desperately want kids to have them? Anti-abortion extremists may be a bunch of rabid hypocrites who have demonstrated time and time again that they don’t care about the sanctity of life, they just care about controlling women, but they sure aren’t going to make the war on IVF?
Sara Chambers, a 25-year-old woman from Tennessee who is currently undergoing IVF, had this same question. Tennessee is one of the most restrictive states when it comes to reproductive rights: The dishonestly-named Human Life Protection Act essentially prohibits abortion and states that life begins at fertilization, not birth. implantation. Wondering what the law meant for her treatment, Chambers emailed her rep, Ryan Williams, asking if she could discard her embryos without it being considered an abortion.
Williams’ response? Surely not. “Life begins at conception, either in the womb or in the IVF clinic,” Williams told Chambers in an email she shared on a viral TikTok video; if a doctor got rid of these embryos, it would be a crime. Williams couldn’t resist a bit of moralizing too. “I admit this is an unusual question for someone who has struggled to have children and wants children to ask the question ‘can I dispose of my embryos’, but I hope this answers your questions,” he said.
In her TikTok video, Chambers said she felt judged by Williams’ response. She was also afraid of her options. “I don’t want to transfer embryos that I know I have to miscarry, I want to save myself that heartache,” Chambers said. “And I don’t want to have 20 kids.”
Williams may just be a politician, but make no mistake, he’s no outlier when it comes to this issue. Anti-abortion extremists are not Go make war on IVF, they already do. “It’s hard for people to understand that this is actually happening,” Chambers told feminist journalist Jessica Valenti. “It’s real, and it’s happening right now.” Republicans have made it clear that they will not stop at abortion cancellation: they come for birth control and fertility treatments. They won’t be happy until they take away all aspects of women’s reproductive autonomy.
Protests erupt in Iran over Mahsa Amini’s death
The death of the 22-year-old in police custody in Iran has sparked nationwide protests and could “be the spark that ignites Iran around women’s rights”. Amini was reportedly arrested by the country’s vice squad for showing her hair and breaking hijab laws; her father said she was beaten to death in custody. The backlash has been immense; British Iranian actor Omid Djalili called it “Iran’s George Floyd” moment.
CNN says Iranian president tried to make hijab an interview requirement
An interview between CNN’s top international anchor Christiane Amanpour and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has been canceled after Amanpour refused to wear the hijab. It seems likely that Raisi wanted to capture an image of New York-based Amanpour wearing a hijab to use as propaganda – a signal to women protesting in Iran. Good for Amanpour to refuse to let himself be used in this way.
Josh Hawley thinks there’s only one gender
In a fundraising email, the conservative lawmaker and self-proclaimed manhood expert said teaching children that “more than one sex” exists is “transgender propaganda”. It’s a bit of a Freudian slip, Josh. Why not just come out and say straight up that you don’t think women are people?
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How Russian trolls undermined America’s Women’s March movement
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Last week, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a warning: Do not cook chicken in NyQuil or other cough and cold medications. Why would anyone do that in the first place? Due to a TikTok food challenge, according to the FDA. The media jumped on the warning. Crazy kids all eat toxic chicken for TikTok Likes is a tempting tale after all. But it seems rumors of a NyQuil chicken challenge are grossly exaggerated. As Eater noted, “NyQuil chicken proves one of our worst collective tendencies online: to see something, take it at face value, and amplify it… What we ultimately do is is to bring a sense of legitimacy to this thing – if enough news sites tell you that. not to cook NyQuil chicken, it might seem like a lot of people actually cook NyQuil chicken. (OK, but also please don’t cook the NyQuil chicken.)