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IVF and “personhood” and how my son wouldn’t be here if Mike Pence has his way

November 5, 2012
Logo design by Christine Hepner

I’m reposting from 4 years ago, but unfortunately and frighteningly, it’s just as valid today as then: 

As a mom of a baby conceived with the assistance of IVF, I’m going to make a few political observations. You have of course the right to completely ignore the rest of this post and return to the real world which is, as we know, totally free of political ads and rhetoric right now.

Our country’s freedom to worship (or not) as you choose is just on the things that I’m proudest of as an American. I choose not. I am a non-believer. I’m really, really, really a non-believer. I don’t care what flavor it comes in, either, it’s all the same to me–a load of fantastical bullshit. Whether you believe your god spoke through a burning bush, an old hat, the neighbor’s dog, or a spaceship full of whatever-the-fucks, I don’t care. It’s all the same.

I was raised catholic. Well, my parents tried, at least. I think I was in the first grade when Sister Mary Let’s Scare the Shit of Young Girls said, “All women must suffer to bring children into the world to pay for the sins of Eve.” I remember thinking, “Let the bitch pay for her own sins, why are you trying to pin this on me?” Later I was told that this poor, sweet hippie was tortured to death to pay for MY sins. You know, I wasn’t anywhere near Galilee at the time, and I have a birth certificate that proves I wasn’t even BORN until 1,960 years, two months, and 18 days later. How’s THAT for an alibi?

But even with this attitude toward religion (and it is a BAD one, I know), I still will, with my life if need be, defend your right to practice whatever form you choose. Because I think that is what is great about America. All I ask in return is that you follow your heart and conform to whatever principles you choose and ask your fellow believers to conform to the same within the confines of your church or whatever you call your religious community. BUT LEAVE ME OUT OF IT!

Here’s a video. It’s one fleeting moment in my life, and it really isn’t a grand moment or a moment of significance other than it’s a moment that I’d never thought I’d experience. This is my son and my best friend during the blackout after Superstorm Sandy:

When you step into the voting booth to cast your vote, I would respectfully ask you to consider this. My son would not be here if not for IVF. Look around at your own families. Maybe your child, grandchild, niece or nephew, cousin, or child of a dear friend would not be here either. Have you felt yourself or witnessed the joy and fulfillment that child has brought? Would you ever deny a childless person at least the best chance to conceive?

Mike Pence would. He supports “personhood” legislation, which if passed would make it just ever so much more difficult for infertile women to conceive. If you are an independent or moderate Republican who has been placated into thinking that that will never happen, seriously, are you willing to take that risk?

I won’t say anymore, and I am going to remove this post in 2 days. But if you do vote GOP, and if it goes that way, although I obviously don’t pray, I will say that I fervently hope that one day you won’t be holding your sobbing friend, child, grandchild, cousin, aunt, niece, or nephew in your arms as they tell you how they’ve just found out that they are infertile, but since IVF is now severely restricted or banned, there is no hope.

Because I will to the end of my life, be thankful and grateful that I live in the greatest nation on earth, one where I was able to experience this one fleeting moment and all the other fleeting moments that will make up my son’s life.

I would love to hear your story of IVF. Please leave your comments below.

© 2016

  1. Dee permalink

    As a person who lost her first pregnancy and struggled to conceive again, your article gave me chills. After years of “trying,” I remember bursting into tears just seeing a child seat in the back of someone else’s car. I was fortunate and my two children brought so much joy to my life. Why some people believe they can make this choice not only for themselves, but others they will never know is beyond me.


    • grayhairedmom permalink

      I once went to the local grammar school to see my nieces in their Halloween costume parade and I lost it. I sobbed. I would never wish that feeling on anyone and I will never do anything to make it harder for anyone else to at least have a shot at parenthood.

      And you are so right, I don’t understand why anyone presumes to legislate issues like this. If your personal beliefs or the beliefs of your particular religious group prohibit reproductive choices, then feel free to live your life as you see fit. But don’t expect me or anyone to be ruled by those beliefs.


  2. Miriam permalink

    NO MAN SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO TELL A WOMAN WHAT TO DO WITH HER BODY REGARDLESS WHAT IT IS….This does upset me because I was a Surrogate twice for two different couples and it was done by IVF and right now as we speak am 2 months pregnant by IVF. Its sad that they are trying to dictate our lives by taking all these things away and all for what??? I am proud to have been able to help these couples out and if I could I would do it again. And for myself if I didn’t have the option to do IVF I wouldn’t be 2 months pregnant people please think when You vote….The damage that is being done to women and families in general….


    • grayhairedmom permalink

      Totally agreed Miriam but I would change it to “no government….” instead of man….there are just way too many women who are supporting these ideas…

      but you are amazing and thank goodness for people like you!


      • Miriam permalink

        Your right “NO GOVERNMENT” SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO TELL A WOMAN WHAT TO DO WITH HER BODY REGARDLESS WHAT IT IS..I get angry when I hear the ignorance coming out their mouth. IVF is done for many reasons and who is the government to tell women what they should or should not do. Am proud of being part of doing IVF 2 times and Loved every single time specially when I saw the parents happiness and the joy of having something they couldn’t have on their own. And for myself am ecstatic with joy because it work for us as well. Thank you for your kind words….I hope everyone thinks really good and don’t make that mistake that some day they might regret.


  3. Bernie permalink

    Donald Trump wants to see your long form birth certificate before he believes you didn’t go to school with Eve.


    • grayhairedmom permalink

      You know, I’ve been studying “The Last Supper” and I swear I see an adorable little blond-haired, brown-eyed Irish gal serving some wine in the background…..I demand to see YOUR birth certificate Madam! 😀


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