Analysis

The media assigns value to frozen embryos only when it suits their agenda

frozen embryo

Tragedies continue to occur in the Middle East amid the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, and one of the latest stories out of the warzone is the destruction of Gaza’s largest fertility clinic. The destruction happened in December, but it’s only hitting the news four months later. Media outlets that usually dehumanize human embryos were quick to report the incident as mournful.

It was reported last week that “thousands” of frozen embryos were destroyed in an explosion when an Israeli shell struck the facility in December. The lids of liquid nitrogen tanks in the corner of the embryology unit were blown off, allowing the tanks that housed the human embryos to heat up. More than 4,000 human embryos are said to have been destroyed along with 1,000 specimens of sperm and eggs. The Guardian, The Telegraph, and the Colorado Spring Gazette were among the other outlets that covered the story. Colorado has no restrictions on abortion whatsoever, yet ran the Reuters story with the headline to the  “exclusive” story as “‘5000 lives [were lost] in one shell.'”

‘5,000 lives

Bahaeldeen Ghalayini, 73, the obstetrician and gynecologist who opened the clinic in 1997, said, “We know deeply what these 5,000 lives, or potential lives, meant for the parents, either for the future or for the past.”

He added, “All these lives were killed or taken away: 5,000 lives in one shell.” This is inaccurate as there were a reported 4,000 embryos and 1,000 sperm and egg specimens, which are not living human beings, as embryos are.

Reuters reported that the embryos were “the last hope for hundreds of Palestinian couples…” The news outlet reported on the loss of embryos with compassion. It also shared with sympathy the story of one couple who lost embryos in the clinic’s destruction along with twins that were miscarried after the war began. However, when the Alabama Supreme Court ruled just over a month ago that frozen embryos could be considered children under the state’s wrongful death of a minor act, Reuters reported that the court’s “members are all elected Republicans or appointed by a Republican governor” and that the ruling had concerning “implications.” Reuters worried the ruling would inspire “activists,” writing:

Getting so-called fetal personhood laws – recognizing fetuses as having the full legal rights of people – passed has long been a goal of anti-abortion activists. Alabama is one of several states that have passed provisions granting some measure of legal protection to fetuses.

Yet, hypocritically, just weeks before Reuters was expressing concerns about the loss of human embryos in Gaza and the effect on the parents of those embryos, it voiced no concern for the parents of human embryos in Alabama who had lost their frozen embryos in an ‘accident.’ Those parents sued the fertility clinic over the destruction of their embryos, and Reuters was worried that it would mean more embryos wouldn’t be able to be destroyed.

‘The anti-abortion crowd’

The Guardian didn’t hold back in attacking pro-lifers for not speaking up immediately about the destruction of the fertility clinic in Gaza. “The anti-abortion crowd who believe embryos are ‘extrauterine children’ have been weirdly silent about the strike,” wrote Arwa Mahdawi under the heading of “The Week in Patriarchy.”

She continued, “One single airstrike. That’s all it took. One single strike and thousands of potential lives were wiped out. For at least half of the couples who were patients at the clinic, many of whom had saved up for years to afford treatments, those embryos were their last chance to get pregnant…”

The Guardian believes that the story was buried for four months because “many western leaders have made clear, they simply do not think of Palestinians as humans.”

“Unless I’ve missed it, the anti-abortion crowd has also been weirdly silent about this story. You’d think the people who have said they believe embryos are ‘extrauterine children’ might muster a little outrage at this mass murder….” Mahdawi lamented.

To the pro-life community, the loss of embryos in Gaza is a tragedy because it’s the loss of human lives, but as Mahdawi said, the major media outlets didn’t report the loss of embryos in Gaza right away. How would pro-lifers know? But with that “extrauterine children” comment, Mahdawi was referencing the Alabama Supreme Court case. She linked to an article she wrote about it, titled, “Anti-abortion extremists in the US are waging a holy war against women.”

She called the Alabama Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of the parents of destroyed frozen embryos an effort by pro-lifers to ‘control all facets of reproductive healthcare.’  She wrote:

Numerous embryos tend to be created and then frozen during the IVF process because it maximizes the chances of success, is more cost-effective and reduces the health risks of the procedure. Surplus embryos are then disposed of or donated. If every frozen embryo is suddenly deemed a child, it means that disposing of the embryo – or having a machine malfunction and accidentally ruin an embryo – would be a criminal act. It even throws into question the standard practice of freezing embryos. After all, you wouldn’t stick a child in a freezer, would you?

She called the Alabama decision that was, again, in favor of the parents whose embryos were destroyed, “shocking” and said pro-lifers don’t have an “understanding of reproductive medicine,” likely because the ruling came from mostly Republican justices and could impact whether or not parents could willingly destroy their own embryos.

But when the destruction of frozen embryos happened in Gaza, suddenly human embryos were “lives” that mattered.

All human lives are inherently valuable from the moment they are created, and it doesn’t matter if the embryos are frozen in Gaza or Alabama, if they were destroyed by war or by an individual, or if they were wanted or unwanted. Once fertilization occurs, a new human being exists who deserves to be protected. (Sperm and eggs don’t have that same intrinsic value — they aren’t human organisms.)

Major media outlets have shown themselves to be pro-abortion, and the hypocritical reporting of these two stories proves it once more.

The DOJ put a pro-life grandmother in jail for protesting the killing of preborn children. Please take 30-seconds to TELL CONGRESS: STOP THE DOJ FROM TARGETING PRO-LIFE AMERICANS.

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