You Do Know That the Networks’ Ongoing IVF Hysteria Is Not Actually About IVF, Right?

February 23rd, 2024 12:19 AM

The networks are doing their level best to continue to fuel the ongoing panic over in-vitro fertilization treatments (IVF) in the wake of Alabama’s Supreme Court opinion that granted embryos rights equal to those of a child in utero. But from watching the coverage, it is pretty obvious that what is happening is about something beyond just IVF.

The most nakedly obvious framing comes, as is often the case, via ABC’s David Muir on World News Tonight:

DAVID MUIR: Meantime, back here in the U.S. tonight, and to the new fallout that could affect so many women in this country. It comes after that decision declaring frozen embryos are people by Alabama's highest court. Tonight, more Alabama hospitals and clinics have halted IVF, even with women, families, in the middle of treatments. Tonight, Vice President Kamala Harris saying this is because of Donald Trump and his picks for the Supreme Court overturning Roe.

ABC and CBS filed similar reports containing similar elements: the IVF patients scrambling to come up with a contingency after their clinics suspended their programs, some statement or other from the IVF providers, the high financial cost of IVF, a tie-in to presidential politics with some clip from Vice President Kamala Harris, and some sort of reference to the Dobbs opinion that did away with Roe v. Wade.

NBC was a bit more intellectually honest in that they bifurcated the storytelling element from the political element and filed two different reports. Correspondent Laura Jarrett handled the personal storytelling elements with patient accounts and statements from the providers. Correspondent Dasha Burns’ filing from CPAC centered around the politics of the ruling, with statements from multiple elected officials, including President Joe Biden and Senator Tommy Tuberville among others.

But why fuel the panic? There are eight IVF clinics total in Alabama, and three have paused their procedures. This means that five clinics remain wherein people can seek and obtain services. So, not a total shutdown of IVF. 

The panic point for the media is the Court’s grant of personhood to human embryos. Such a finding, were it to be upheld by the United States Supreme Court, drives a dagger into efforts to codify Roe. Personhood, even if not uttered out loud, is the whole ball game and the media know it. It’s hard to imagine the liberal media caring too much about IVF except that these stories enable advocacy for a Roe restoration. Personhood gets in the way of that.

To view ABC transcript, click HERE

To view CBS transcript, click HERE

To view NBC transcript, click HERE