Edgar Allen Poe once wrote, “Believe only half of what you see and nothing that you hear.” That advice is especially apropos today as media outlets continue to report on the difficult moral dilemma a Gestational Carrier and her Intended Parents are facing.
Friendly word of advice, please view any news report with a critical eye. The breathless, sensational reporting this week by tabloids like the New York Post and Daily Mail are often wrong and done to stir controversy where none exists. The “report” about a couple insisting that their gestational carrier “abort” a girl fetus in a triplet pregnancy was wildly inaccurate, irresponsible and reprehensible. The motivation to sensationalize stories like this are obvious in our social media driven society where people only care about headlines, sound bites and clicks. This kind of tabloid journalism does a terrible disservice to real journalists and the public at large. Kudos to NPR, KPCC and KTLA for being the only news outlet to share both sides of this heart-wrenching moral dilemma.
However, with these media outlet exceptions, the news reporting is inaccurate at best and false at worst. This is a case where the news media has been duped by a conservative, right-wing organization whose agenda is to end third party reproduction, including surrogacy and egg donation.
The number of falsehoods in the reporting is too numerous to mention now. However, please know that the Intended Parents have every intention of taking all three babies and continue to perform under the contract. Also, the insinuation that the Parents were engaging in some form of sex-selection reduction is vile and reprehensible.
Moreover, too few consider the impact of social media and internet search sites like Google. One day, these three children will do an internet search on their names and come across these horrific and misleading “news” reports and believe that their parents wanted to “abort” one of them — when nothing like it occurred.
It also bears noting that the underlying attorneys in this matter, the IVF facility and psychologist all addressed the risks of a multiple pregnancy at numerous stages throughout the process. This was not an issue that was ignored or left unaddressed in the contract. Unfortunately even people with the best of intentions can change their minds. So this is not a case of sloppy handling which occurs far too often in this field. The professionals who helped these parties did their jobs and any criticism of their work is misplaced and caused by shoddy reporting by the media.
Whether you undergo IVF, are medically required to use a gestational carrier or are fortunate enough to get pregnant on your own, many parents have to confront these difficult ethical dilemmas during a pregnancy as a result of unexpected and unwanted medical complications. Sadly, there are some in our society that will exploit any tragedy or misfortune in order to advance a political agenda. Exacerbating matters is the fact that the news media and many in our industry unwittingly aided and abetted this anti-surrogacy conservative organization by advancing a false narrative.
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