Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Celebrity Infertility

On one of the DE boards I frequent, the topic or Jennif.er Lo.pez's recent interview came up, based on this comment:

“I … believe in God and I have a lot of faith in that, so I just felt like you don’t mess with things like that,” she told Elle. “And I guess deep down I really felt like either this is not going to happen for me or it is. You know what I mean? And if it is, it will. And if it’s not, it’s not going to.” From Elle Mag.azine's Feb issue.

She had boy/girl twins at the age of 40; while it is possible, it's not probable that she didn't use infertility treatments. And, she was seen frequenting a fertility office known for its DE program in LA.

The women on the board I frequent are angry with JL.o for her comments - it is one thing to deny treatment, while it's yet another thing to play the God card. As one person put it, infertility is a medical issue. Can you imagine someone saying "I know I have blocked arteries, but I just have to have faith in God that he will unclog them. If it happens it happens, then if not, I guess I'll die. I just don't want to mess with God's plan."

I agree that her comments are at the very least not very well thought out. There are definitely better ways that she could handle these questions. But, a lot of women are angry with her simply because she hasn't admitted that she used fertility treatments at all. I find this a little hypocritical. If you were to go to this message board, you'd see that at least once or twice a month there will be a big debate on if you are on the Tell or No Tell side of the DE argument. Some of the same women who are nailing Jenni.fer for not speaking out are also women who have not told their family/friends and are also contemplating never telling their children that they were conceived through donor eggs. Some women I know have not told anyone that they are undergoing treatment let alone donor eggs. So, does that mean that if you are a celebrity, that you are not allotted this same opportunity? Is it fair to expect someone simply because they are in the public eye to become an infertility warrior? To come out and talk openly about their choices with essentially complete strangers before their own children are old enough to comprehend the news?

I don't know. I am in the Tell column 100%. I believe that infertility is a medical issue and is not something to be ashamed of. I also believe that celebrities who have gone through infertility should be open and speak out about it because women need to be forewarned. By perpetuating the myth that women can easily get pregnant into their late 40's, these celebrities are not doing anyone any favours.

I believe that people have the right to keep whatever they want to themselves. In this instance, playing the God card seems a little over the top and a little "the lady doth protest too much"ish to me. She could have said that "ivf is a great way for women that have medical issues to build their families; it's just not something that we needed at this time". People would still be yelling liar liar, but at least she'd come down on "our" side.



Cathy said...

I agree 100%!! Thank you for voicing your opinions on this. I feel very strongly that the world's view of infertility only needs some of these celebraties to come out and talk about it (i.e. Sarah Jessica Parker) to make people realize it isn't a given that you will get pregnant at 40.

I have actually heard a close friend (my age - 37) recently say "oh, maybe I'm pregnant" even when on the pill, just having been late taking it once or twice. "You never know" she said and I replied "yes I do and believe me, it's not likely". I was right, she wasn't!!

I also agree on the medical condition thing - don't get me started! It's amazing how people say that it's not medically necessary. Easy for them to say, those people that say that to me always have kids already.

Great post!

Anonymous said...

You're right that her comments could have been better thought out. Maybe she doesn't know better because we don't know for sure if she did or didn't use DE. I am not one to judge others for not coming out as I have not - yet ;~) One day. I find it hard because we don't know if it will work and if it does I'm jumping the fence!

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