Remember the outrage over the Japanese doctors who oh-so-accidentally transferred one couple’s embryo into the wrong mom-to-be?
The story’s back in the news – with a twist. It turns out the woman whose embryo was accidentally transferred into the womb of an ususpecting IVF patient (who later aborted) did not find out about the incident for a full two and a half months. Doctors said the woman, who was in her forties, was not overly concerned. Her exact words (according to the health officials) were “I’m sorry to hear that.”
So what’s the problem? Some members of the press are now debating whether that woman should have had a chance to weigh in on the subject when doctors realized the mistake. In other words – some are debating whether the embryo’s “Mom” should have had the right to talk the pregnant woman out of aborting her “child.”
Wait, what? Technically, they’re suggesting that one woman should have the right over another woman’s body. And they’re not the only ones.
Some of the commentors on the original reporting of the story here on Strollerderby expressed their outrage at the woman who underwent the abortion – even pro-choice moms. As Emma says, “That’s pretty disgusting. This woman was so desperate for a child she
paid for expensive IVF treatments, but she couldn’t bear to keep a
child that wasn’t her’s biologically? I completely understand her
anger, and a large settlement would be justified. For me, despite being
pro choice, the abortion is unfathomable.”
As a woman who was very happy to get pregnant and even happier when the pregnancy ended (with the birth of my daughter), I’m not sure I’m OK with the idea of going forward with a pregnancy for the sake of someone else . . . especially someone I’ve never met. Planned surrogacy is one thing. Accidental surrogacy, and suffering through all the ill effects of pregnancy for someone else’s child is quite another.
On the other hand, this woman and her husband provided egg and sperm in good faith. They thought their embryo would become a child, and it was their flesh and blood. They didn’t impregnate some poor woman on purpose, and they sure as heck could have suffered exponentially from the loss of either the chance to become pregnant or the loss of that fetus.
Should the biological parents’ of the embryo have been allowed to know the situation right away? Should they have been allowed contact with the pregnant woman? Or was there enough of a burden on the women who suffered from the wrongly transferred embryo?