It's no secret that reproductive technologies are still viewed in a negative light. I've written before about the bad rap IVF gets from those who have not been touched by infertility. PGD is an even hotter issue, thanks to movies like Gattaca. The idea that one can create "designer babies" sends your average individual off on a tirade about the evils of "playing God." Rarely do the look at the actually uses of PGD, such as screen for embryos that are chromosomally abnormal and helping eliminate detrimental diseases such as cystic fibrosis. Mainly because many are ill-informed.
This morning, I received the following email from the WA Chapter for the Association for Women in Science (AWIS):
Association for Women in Science (AWIS) Invites you toI felt like I had been punched.
Join us for a Discussion about Bioethics, this Wednesday, April 18th.
Bioethics Discussion on Human Genetic Engineering: Why I Love Designer Babies?
Featured Speaker:Kathyrn Hinsch - Founder and President of Women's Bioethics Project
A quick Google search on Ms. Hinsch reveals a biography of someone who has what I consider a superficial view on the subject matter. Add in flyer attached to this email, where she uses Gautam Naik's Wall Street Journal article to launch into her dissection of the "designer babies" topic and I found myself growing angrier by the minute.
The more I read, the more it became clear that this women has no idea the horrors of infertility. I have no idea if Ms. Hinsch has children, but I suspect that her ability to conceive and bear them has never been called into question. Add in the fact that her flyer does nothing to talk about PGDs current uses and we now have a discussion that is ripe of misinterpretation.
I feel Ms. Hinsch is adding yet another layer of discrimination against the ALI community. That her discussion on Wednesday will result in a one-sided argument against not only PGD, but fertility treatments in general. That anyone who pursues IVF will be villainized and considered "selfish." All of this coming from a majority who will not be faced with traumas caused by infertility and loss. And I'm not happy about it.
Tonight, I'm trying to figure out what to do. Part of me wants to attend this discussion solely to punch as many holes in Ms. Hinsch argument against PGD. But the other part of me feels that this may be exactly what she's hoping for. After all, everyone remembers a heated discussion. In addition, I'm still in the process of healing. As wimpy as that sounds, I know I'm not at my best, meaning it's quite possible that I'll do more harm than good. In addition, it's entirely possible that I'm making a mountain out of a mole-hill.
In short, I'm asking for help. I need some advice on how to proceed. What would you do?