Thursday, March 5, 2009

Whadaya Know, Georgia?

Dear any State Politician who thinks now is a good time to ram through some really assinine anti-IVF legislation claiming to be proactively warding off octoplets, but really fucking over potential parents everywhere and giving a big wet one to the pro-life contingency:

Am I in favor of octoplets? Well, in some abstract universe I suppose I find a line of puppies slurping from their mama curled up in a basket kinda cute. As for humans I'm happy they're all here safely, but I don't think anyone in their right mind (stress "right mind") thinks that being pregnant with eight babies is safe and prudent for mother and especially the children in question. The financial outcome I suppose is another concern in these trying times -- but really before we get in parents' biz, howsabout we get your own fucking State Legislators to pay their goddamn taxes? Hmmm?

Back to the point: I'm rather concerned that "politicians" (word used loosely) don't have the necessary reproductive chops to go messing with these medical issues. Let's go take a look at a few politicans in Georgia for kicks: the Senator who is introducing this nonsense lists his profession as "Investor." We also have an Orthodontist and a Grocer. Worthy and valued professions all, but NOT obstetricians or reproductive endocrinologists or anyone who might know about things reproductive. This is just a hunch. But an itch I'd love to scratch. I'd really like to see just how much these concerned citizens know before going and making laws curtailing Georgian Women's Bits and Pieces. Have you done your homework? Have you had some hearings and asked experts and professionals to explain these issues to you? I understand that we all can't be experts on the differences between Follistim and Gonal-F (Trick Question! There really is none!), and I do not claim to be an expert in budgets or deficits or things of an agricultural nature. I would think, though, if I held elected office and was asked to weigh on some of these incredibly important issues, I would take my sweet, sweet time doing some research and talking to people who DO know before weighing in with an opinion or -- gasp -- voting.

I think if you'd like to weigh on this bill and vote, that you must take the following quiz, and make your answers public with your name and picture attached. NO CHEATING! NO LOOKING THINGS UP ON YOUR IPHONE! NO FAIR IM'ING YOUR WIFE! TWITTER IS OUT! Pick up your pencils, and begin.

1) What does RE stand for?
2) What is an embryo?
3) What is a zygote? A blastocyst?
4) What does IVF stand for?
5) List two reasons why a woman might opt for IVF -- and no, "Being Angelina Jolie" or "Being a Really Disturbed Angelina Wannabe" are not valid answers.
6) Can you explain what happens procedurally during IVF? Please be specific. Extra credit will be given for knowledge of medications and their side effects and costs. Will give credit for original body-part euphemisms, but demand use of word "uterus." Feel free to make a table with corresponding calendar. (Hint: there is enough information here to actually fill a table.)
7) Please define the following and place them roughly on a pencil drawing of the human body:
-- ovaries
--fallopian tubes
-- uterus
-- cervix
-- vagina
Extra Credit:
-- corpus luteum cyst
-- endometrium
-- placenta

8) What does IVF cost? With/without insurance?
9) Does an RE "transfer" or "implant" embryos, and what in your mind is the difference?
10) Does every IVF end in pregnancy?
11) What must happen biologically after transfer for a woman to become pregnant?
12) What are the current odds of a successful IVF? Same question, but for a woman over 40? (Answers within 10% acceptable)
13) Can you think of any medical reasons why a woman might transfer more than 1-2 embryos? "Shits and Giggles" is not a valid answer.
14) When can a woman get pregnant? How does this happen for a woman undergoing IVF?
15) What hormone does a pregnancy test actually test for?
16) If you transfer a blastocyst, and the test comes back negative, have you just committed murder?
17) If you and your wife create an embryo the old fashioned way (sketches and diagrams not necessary) and the test comes back negative, have you just committed murder?
18) what is a miscarriage?
19) Compare/Contrast IVF with FET.
b) What is FET?
-- What is procedurally different?
-- What is monetarily different?
c) extra credit: What is IUI? How is it possible that more multiples could be produced from this than IVF? (Hint: IT COULD!)
20) Do you know anyone personally who has undergone IVF?

Want to know more about the proposed bill and what you can do? Go visit Mel or Julie.


not undecided said...

You fucking rock. That is all.

loribeth said...

Tash, I absolutely LOVE your quiz!! I think any politician who wants to pass any reproductive-related legislation needs to take this quiz & have their answers posted publicly. The people sponsoring this legislation obviously don't have a friggin' clue about infertility or ARTs.

N said...

I love this post. To bits and pieces.

Michele said...

I love your quiz. Totally. However, I'm pro-life and consider an embryo a baby. I think the whole GA thing needs to be re-evaluated (and that the legislators need your quiz, among other things (like a swift kick in the balls)). There are so many other things to consider and I think they are thinking "let's capitalize on the outrage of the oct mom" and not thinking of good, worthwhile, life legislation.

The fact is, these people DONT know what is going on with ART and they need to investigate it and take it into consideration when drafting legislation.

Julia said...

Wheeeeeee! Now here's a good excuse to punt work for a bit while I apply my professional skills to my blog world. Heh. By which I mean I would add a question specifically asking what the differences are between a follicle, a harvested egg, a fertilized egg, and then, you know, any number of stages of embryo development up to blast. Request that attrition rates for each step be listed. Followed by a trick question on at which stage in the process is a live birth guaranteed (feel free to be even meaner and ask at what stage in the process should parents be signing up for that expensive pre-K with the three year waiting list).

Then? Send the quiz to fun places where it is likely to get publicity. MSNBC primetime line up comes to mind. So do various big ass lefty blogs. Cause really? This is one righteous way to make noise. Which certainly needs making.

And because I am in a foul mood these days, I would suggest another companion legislation-- one requiring the state professional association of funeral directors to provide courses on supporting perinatally bereaved families. And what the hell, another on increasing funding for early intervention and OT. Because what are the odds (I am going for that extra credit part c here) that people will opt for riskier IUIs now? With, you know, too many follicles to be really safe, and resulting in high order multiples? I mean it's not like multiple, and especially HOM, pregnancies are at an increased risk for all sorts of fun stuff from pre-term labor to various manifestations of dead babies. Oh, right-- they ARE.

k@lakly said...

Oh God, Tash, I want to laugh and cry at the same time.
It's just so god damn pathetic isn't it?
Another wonderful byproduct of octo moms phenomenal act of stupidity...and don't even get me started on the 'dr' who helped her out. Yea, thanks alot doc, you really made a huge difference in the fertility rights of women everywhere. Fucker.

JW Moxie said...

I'll be damned! The server let me through at work and I can comment. Yes, yes, yes, freaking yes. I bow down to your genius and intellect (and Julia's for all the questions she tagged on).

You know what's really sad, though? That any of us should be so "experienced" to be able to answer those questions as well as we can. If only answering the question "How do you get pregnant and STAY pregnant" was so easy as "Too much beer, a backseat, and not taking the morning after pill."

It's clear that these pro HB 169 politicians think it's that easy, because hell - if you "implant" five embyros, you're guaranteed to be able to have a fledgling family basketball team in 9 easy months.

Brenna said...

Oh, I love this post. LOVE IT. I tried to write something after reading about the proposed legislation on Conceive This! and Stirrup Queens yesterday, but now I don't even need to finish. It would pale in comparison to the perfection of your quiz (and some of the follow-up responses are also brilliant!).

Hope's Mama said...

Well fuck. I'd absolutely fail this test, and I've been pregnant! So I can only imagine how some of the politicians you mention would do.
Go Tash!

holly said...

Awesome post! The quiz is great!

Thanks for checking out places to buy beer for us. If do hear of anything let me know. I'm up for any other suggestions on things to do here in Philly.


In the Meantime said...

I'm usually a lurker, but I love this post, and the quiz. Terrific points and definitely all things that people should be able to answer quickly and without cheating before even giving detailed opinions on IVF legislation, and definitely before voting on such legislation. Effective, interesting, and entertaining at the same time. Awesome.

Now if only these politicians would pull their heads out of their rears.

Bon said...

amen, Tash.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. I posted a link to your post/blog on my facebook page.

charmedgirl said...

i wanted to get an actual pen and paper and do the test, you know, just so there was a test i could actually pass.