Frozen Weirdo Sci-Fi Babies

I keep trying to post this in the Balloon Juice comments but it keeps getting too long.DougJ on Kinsley and Douthat (always looks like I’ve typed it wrong) wanking about IVF and stem cell research:

But here’s my question: if the embryos can’t be used for research
(as they would be under new laws) or destroyed (as they currently are
in many cases), then do they have to kept frozen forever? Isn’t that
even stranger and more science-fictiony (one argument people seem to
make against stem cell research is that it’s strange and
science-fictiony)?

I think Kinsley is right about the politics of this, that screwing withIVF
will just piss off people who are trying hard to get pregnant and thus
will further ghettoize the conservatives who push for it. But Douthat
may be right that conservatives will push for it anyway.

Well, the fundie argument against IVF is that it’s strange and science-fictiony too, so I don’t see that being the block here. I don’t think conservatives will push too hard for this, because despite what the Pope says about IVF being all wrong and sick and shit, it’s a$3 billion industry knit into our national obsession with women and sex, families and babies, who has how many kids and when, blah blah blah octuplets. That’s not a can of worms you want to open as a party not precisely attractive to chicks at this point.

Also, not to be crass about it, but most people who can afford to go into this stuff headfirst right now arewell-off enough to qualify as the potential Republican base. Whether everybody who’s undergoing fertility treatments at the moment is rich or not (some just get lucky with their insurance), they’re still high enough up on the economic scale not to be written off lightly. If I had to take a guess as to why the fundie Republican base would get nowhere with demonizing women trying to get pregnant, I’d go with “fear of them closing their wallets” over “fear of looking like compassion-less assholes.”

A.

4 thoughts on “Frozen Weirdo Sci-Fi Babies

  1. I think their concern about embryonic stem cell research is pretty amusing, actually. They’re all terribly concern trolly about it going on (in the US), while completely (as Americans often do, particularly the right-wing ones) ignoring that embryonic stem cell research is going on more or less unimpeded all over the world. The US having banned it essentially has cost them their R&D lead that they basically maintain by throwing more money at R&D than almost everyone else combined (this is something to mention the next time a right-winger gripes that “you can’t solve a problem by throwing money at it”), but any discovery that an American doesn’t make, is likely one that a Korean or an Australian or a Canadian or a Briton or an Israeli or someone will make…
    I for one would find it tremendously funny if, in the future, the US banned stem cell treatments on squidgy “our religion says this is icky” grounds and wealthy Americans started going overseas for stem cell treatments. I’d really like to see what the right-wing cohort would say about that. I think their heads’d explode, caught neatly on the horns of a trilemma: “Free market!” “American knowhow!” “Religion says this is icky!” Heh.
    For what it’s worth, I have my own hot-button issue with things like IVF mostly because at least among the natalist crowd, there’s this real vibe that adoptees are second-class citizens. Like “Ew, why would yousettle like that when you could have yourown kid?!” Being an adoptee, that burns my toast more than a little bit.

  2. Don’t miss the bit of old douthatiana that Brad delong dug up.
    One successful foray ended on the guest bed of a high school friend’s parents, with a girl who resembled a chunkier Reese Witherspoon drunkenly masticating my neck and cheeks. It had taken some time to reach this point–“Do most Harvard guys take so long to get what they want?” she had asked, pushing her tongue into my mouth. I wasn’t sure what to say, but then I wasn’t sure this was what I wanted. My throat was dry from too much vodka, and her breasts, spilling out of pink pajamas, threatened my ability to. I was supposed to be excited, but I was bored and somewhat disgusted with myself, with her, with the whole business… and then whatever residual enthusiasm I felt for the venture dissipated, with shocking speed, as she nibbled at my ear and whispered–“You know, I’m on the pill…”
    What squicks me out is (a) that the real turnoff for Ross Douthat is that she has taken responsibility for her own fertility and gone on the pill, and (b) that Ross Douthat does not take this to be a learning moment–is not self-reflective enough to say “Hmmm… If there are other men like me who are turned off by women who take responsibility for fertility control, isn’t that likely to be a cause of more abortions?”
    aimai
    With this in mind I think you can see that they are even willing to lose the “bored drunken frat boy” vote which, I think you will agree, is pretty much all they have left.

  3. A couple more things about IVF tho: first, it focuses on the woman trying to get pregnant, with the man relegated to an adjunct role; second, the tests required with IVF (and not so necessarily with other methods of fertility treatment) will disclose the degree to which infertility of the couple is a result of the guy’s troubles.
    Neither of these is going to sit well with traditional conservatives.

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