Unregulated IVF Treats Children Like Widgets – California Fertility Clinic Reportedly Implants Dead Babies into Their Patients 

Jordan Estabrook - 02 May 2024

The IVF industry is truly the wild west of fertility treatments, and the most tragic, spine-chilling lawsuit from California regarding the implantation of dead embryos only solidifies this observation.  

We’re not just talking about the 80% of tiny babies created during IVF that fail to implant or result in a stillborn child according to the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics. We’re referring to the alarming increase in reported morbid and thoughtless actions that often fly under the radar when children are commoditized through IVF. A few incidents that made it into the light include: 

Students for Life of America (SFLA) points out these media stories to further prove how the IVF industry is poorly regulated and unmonitored. And of course, these are just the stories that we know – who knows if there’s more mix ups that are swept under the rug?  

We saw this in Alabama when three couples sued over careless mishandling of their children by allowing other patients to spill their embryos on the ground. Earlier this year, Alabama Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos are children and the parents who lost them in the lab accident could sue. 

READ: A Closer Look at the Alabama IVF Case 

An even more ghastly and disturbing story comes from Newport, California, when allegedly a careless worker put the embryos in hydrogen peroxide instead of sterile solution.  

According to USA Today, ” The alleged laboratory failure occurred between January 18 and January 30 during the pre-implantation thawing process at the company’s Newport Beach lab, according to the suit. 

Once the incident happened, Ovation did not disclose it to the couples, the suit says. The failed pregnancies led to weeks of the couples blaming themselves and their bodies, with some enduring medical procedures like hysteroscopies and biopsies to try and find out what went wrong, according to the complaint.” 

The death of these tiny children should be egregious enough, but the clinic reportedly implanted these dead embryos into these women, who were excited to have their own children and poured an unspecified amount of money to make it happen.  

The lack of regulation in the IVF industry reflects how little value they put on these children. It’s one thing to have poorly regulated manufacturing for toys, trinkets, and whatever else – it’s quite another thing to treat children the same way as a molded piece of plastic.  

Children aren’t a recipe that if the wrong ingredient is used, the batch can be thrown away and started over again, or “bake the cake” anyway and hope for the best.  

These are individual, unique children that have been commoditized and treated as a product by the IVF industry. Babies, women, and couples deserve better. 

As Vice President of Media and Policy Kristi Hamrick noted in a previous article, “Our love and acceptance of the people whose lives began with IVF does not mean we give rubber stamp approval to an industry that is not geared around ensuring that all lives conceived with the technology will thrive. There are a lot of problems with the business model and a lot of people left behind.” 

READ: What to Expect When You’re Expecting to Talk about Invitro Fertilization (IVF) – Students for Life of America 

Our care for those born from IVF doesn’t decrease with this news – in fact, it only increases. We want all lives to be treated with dignity and respect, including those created from IVF. With more cases coming into the light, we hope to bring the IVF conversation into the light for fruitful and critical discussions.  

READ NEXT: Frozen Embryos are Children According to God, Not the Law

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