Encore The Little Known Realities of the IVF Industry & What We Need Now
June 14, 2022
Hosted by Christine Erickson
In today’s episode, we will discuss the history of the IVF industry, and its latest strategies for expanding its market reach and services. This 44-year-old for-profit industry is estimated to reach to $37 billion dollars globally by 2027. It has done a masterful job positioning itself as a ‘cure’ for infertility and, more recently, selling the ‘promise’ of future family through egg freezing and other third-party services. The hope sale is central to its business model. Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos has fought for the last decade+ to raise the visibility of those who have been negatively impacted by what she calls “the industry’s saccharine siren song.” She’s educated and brought much needed attention to the prevalent failure rates and health risks that accompany IVF and egg freezing as well as to the heavy personal toll when the reality doesn’t match the marketing. Here in the U.S., this industry is predominantly self-regulated. Without external oversight, clinics routinely market their reproductive services solely to the upside of the IVF process. Their websites and materials are filled with curated success stories. We will explore what is not being said, in our discussion today. There is also a concerning trend among larger companies to encourage the use of ‘fertility’ services, targeting young, presumably healthy females, through services such as egg freezing. This is offered under the guise of creating a solution for women to delay having a child or children, in order to remain fully employed. This also allows for some employers to dismiss more immediate workplace needs for parents, such as paid parental leave and childcare, while also dismissing the potential medical consequences and mental health impacts on women. In 2019, when Goldman Sachs, began offering a $10,000 stipend for egg retrieval and a $20,000 stipend for egg ‘donation’, they also began offering 26 weeks of paid parental leave regardless of gender, caregiver status or method of parenthood (birth, adoption, surrogacy). While companies are offering much needed, extended parental leave policies and unvetted, one could argue, predatory fertility services subsidies, these pronatal efforts still fail to recognize or reward employees without children. The $10-20k benefit, in addition to parental leave, is hardly an equitable proposition for those unable or uninterested in having children. Companies must begin to engage benefits for all employees, regardless of parental or family status, from equitable subsidies to universal paid leave, regardless of reason. Join us for a highly informative discussion, to learn more about the reproductive services industry, and in recognition of survivors.
New Legacy Radio
Tuesday at 10 AM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Variety Channel
The show addresses the social, systemic, and structural realities for those who are childless/childfree and non-parents. We will discuss key issues pertaining to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging as it relates to people without children. For our community, the show will offer a sense of visibility and connection, and an opportunity to be part of the change we are collectively seeking. For parents and professionals, the show will be a place to gain greater awareness around the social realities for many of their friends, family, and employees/co-workers, without children. It will be an opportunity for us all to begin to find common ground in what we want to achieve as individuals, families, and communities, which includes, and benefits us all. The show will also be an invitation for practitioners, organizations, businesses, institutions, and policymakers to join this dialogue and to honestly assess their cultures and policies, and how they impact people without children.
Christine Erickson (she/her) is the founder of New Legacy Institute. The Institute’s purpose is to advocate for change around social realities and policy inequities faced by those who do not have children. Christine is involuntarily childless by circumstance (cxc), and touched on her experiences in her award-winning book, The Mother Within: A Guide to Accepting Your Childless Journey. (2015) A revised edition is forthcoming. Her current writing focuses on the unacknowledged impact of women who are childless/childfree due to circumstances. Christine is dedicated to advancing the diverse narratives and experiences of people without children. She is a staunch advocate of our community’s equitable inclusion and belonging in the workplace, media & entertainment narratives, and making visible the ways in which our community is impacted by culture and policy, and the change we seek. As an executive and entrepreneur, she has lived and worked globally, for the majority of her career. She is an experienced executive coach, leadership educator, and the founder of the Center for Consent-Driven Leadership. She is writing a forthcoming book: Consent-Driven: Rethinking the Culture of Leadership. Christine is an advocate for justice reform in family law and court procedures, involuntary pro se representation, and multifaceted accountability regarding violence against women. She has also consulted on international women’s law and development, gender equity and healthcare access initiatives.