The New York Times wrote yet another article marginalizing those who are going through infertility. This, I am sure, will be a surprise to no one.
In this column for the Style section, Jenny Anderson points out, once again for the cheap seats in the back, that infuriating and factually irresponsible previous New York Times article about the “rise” in patients terminating one twin. The article had absolutely no evidence that this procedure was actually on the rise, but certainly insinuated that it was a trend.
For me, the most maddening part of the article was this quote:
Discussion about the genetics and ethics of managing multiples is on the rise. The Times recently explored the fascinating and complex issue of reductions — reducing triplets to twins or twins to a single baby — in this Sunday Magazine piece, which I could not put down. Studies like this reinvigorate the debate and reveal how fast technology is evolving.
You mean: discussion at YOUR paper about the genetics and ethics of managing multiples is on the rise. You know what’s NOT on the rise? Discussion in your paper about why INFERTILITY is on the rise, among women of ALL age groups and incomes and ethnicities.
I understand that the Style section tries to appeal to New Yorkers of the highest income brackets: they appeal to the top 1% (to borrow Occupy terminology) and assume that the rest of us yokels will be aspirational enough to read their coverage too. Fine. So why do many articles about infertility appear in the style section? Infertility is a disease.
Luckily, we have Redbook to balance out this crappy coverage. I really have to give Redbook lots of props for bravery for being the first publication (that I know of) to partner with Resolve and give a voice to the 7.3 million of Americans suffering with infertility. And the coverage was both factual and anecdotal and relatable.
If you haven’t bought this month’s Redbook already (and you really, really should), here are some highlights:
Indeed in a survey of couples having difficulty conceieving, conducted by the pharmaceutical company Merck, 61% of respondents hid their infertility from family and friends. Nearly half didn’t even tell their mothers.
This really surprised me. I had no idea so many people didn’t even tell their mothers!
Only seven states require insurers to cover at least part of infertility treatment. “It’s still beyond the means of most Americans,” says Alice Domar, Ph.D, executive director for the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health at Boston IVF. “We need to create a lot of noise to get more coverage.”
And, to answer the many, many comments on each article about infertility generated by each New York Times article about “just adopting”:
Why don’t you adopt? “It’s a wonderful option, but there’s a presumption that it should fall on the shoulders of infertile women,” says Keiko Zoll, 29, of Salem, MA. “When people ask, ‘Why don’t you adopt?’ I’m like, ‘Why don’t you?”
Keiko, you rule!
One last point to The New York Times: there are hundreds and hundreds of stories in the naked “cities” of the OBGyns’ offices you could cover. Instead of a millionairess going through her fifth egg donation at age fifty, you could write about about the “average experience”, which is usually filled with incredible heartache, loss and sometimes triumph. All you have to do is go here.
For my full documentation of The New York Times‘ articles on infertility, go here.