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I am a Public Figure. Are My Reproductive Choices Any Of Your Business?

Posted May 23 2010 12:00am
I am a Public Figure. Are My Reproductive Choices Any Of Your Business?

I don’t know about you but when I hear that a celebrity or a public figure in their mid forties is pregnant, the first thing I think of is “Good for them!” And the second thing is “probably egg donation” and then I go on with my life. I don’t ponder, obsess, or feel the need to know for certain if their child they are having is going to have that genetic connection or not.

Because the reality is—I don’t care.

Now this doesn’t mean the public doesn’t care. In fact, they care very much. So much so that because of tools the internet provides us these days (bulletin boards, forums, etc...) all of those questions that are typically only thought and speculated about are now posted for all to see.

This brings me to the age-old question about public figures in general. What’s off limits to the public in regards to public figures, or celebrities? Are we entitled to know how much money they make? Are we entitled to know what faith they are? Are we entitled to know the personal details of their intimate relationships? Are we entitled to know about their medical conditions and health history? Are we entitled to know about any criminal records, credit scores, what they throw out in their trash, or whom they might be horizontal bopping with?

Where do we draw the line?

For years, we have made public figures and celebrities spokespeople for products and medical procedures. They advertise food, diet, car, weight loss, fitness, clothes, medical, and various other products. We buy those products a lot of the time because of celebrity endorsements.

“Wow if Valerie Bertinelli lost weight on Jenny Craig and damn she looks good so can I!” Look at Jennifer Hudson; she has gone from size 16 down to size 6 through Weight Watchers. She’s their spokes person and the Weight Watcher memberships I hear have increased by 30%. What a boon for Weight Watchers.

So now, we are looking at Reproductive Endocrinology and namely egg donation. There are not many public figures who are stepping up to the plate. Why? Even those who have chosen jobs where it places them in the public eye or mind you, the limelight they do have a right to privacy, especially where their kids are concerned – but then drawing that line at egg donation makes everything that much more complicated.

How does it make it complicated? Well for those women who are in their mid to late forties having babies, whether it be singletons or twins this perpetuates this crazy fantasy that your fertility and mind is endless!

When the truth is it’s not. WOMEN: THERE IS NO MAGIC PILL OR ELIXIR TO TAKE THAT IS GOING TO MAKE YOUR EGGS YOUNG AS YOU AGE SO DO YOUR EGGS. READ IT, LEARN IT, AND BELIEVE IT.

That fact remains that fertility begins its decline as early as 28, markedly so at 32, and even more so at age 35. Once you hit forty and beyond your chances of having a child with your own eggs drop to about 5%. Forty-five and beyond you are talking 1%. When a woman uses donor eggs, her odds jump dramatically – like over 50%. In addition, if you select a clinic that has amazing stats your success rate can jump to 80+ percentages.

I get why those in the public eye may want to shy away from talking about the way in which they created their family. It’s all about their children that they love so much. But you have to know that the celebrities who have adopted children – Sandra Bullock, Angelina Jolie, Jamie Lee Curtis, Madonna, Sharon Stone, Katherine Heigl, Rosie O’Donnell to name a few have done so proudly – because it’s a beautiful thing.

Therefore, the question remains – If trying to protect your child from the stigma of egg donation are these famous-celebrity-public figures creating stigma, weirdness, and uncomfortablness by this veil of silence and secrecy.

Or really is it just none of our damn business?

What I would like to see is a group of physicians get together and create a public service announcement that is broadcast nationwide that says clearly “Your neighbor, your friend, or even a public figure might announce happily they are pregnant over the age of 40. Before you think you have lots of time, here are the facts about female fertility”

Will it ever happen? I don’t know. But in the meantime I am going to be left wondering if the Holly Hunters ( 47 ) Jane Seymour’s (44 ), Joan Lunden’s two sets of twins, (52) and (54) Elizabeth Edwards, (48) (50), Kelly Preston’s (47), Sarah Jessica Parker’s (45) Marcia Crosses’s (44), and the Laurie Metcalfe’s, (50), by the miracle of modern medicine, and some magic potion had their children or did they use an egg donor.

My guess it’s egg donor. And that’s okay. It doesn’t make their kids any less special, different, or unique. Their children are their children, end of story.
I just wish someone like them would stand up and say, “You know what, I used an egg donor. I am proud of it. And I am here to educate you.”

That’s what I’m talkin about!
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