Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Shanahan: Open Mouth, Insert Foot

It hasn't even been a half-Scaramucci since Nicole Shanahan was named Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s running mate. However, she's already learning that the presidential microscope is very big and very powerful, even for third-party would-be-spoiler VP candidates.

The particular issue on which the microscope has focused is Shanahan's views on IVF. That is, as you may have heard, something of a hot-button issue right now. And based on many past statements, she is somewhere between "just asking questions" and "openly hostile to IVF." She has described the procedure as "one of the biggest lies that's being told about women's health today" and said that "I believe IVF is sold irresponsibly, and in my own experience with natural childbirth has led me to understand that the fertility industry is deeply flawed."

What does Shanahan propose as an alternative to IVF, for those who need assistance conceiving? You're not going to believe us when we tell you, so we'll just give it to you in her own words: "I'm not sure that there has been a really thorough mitochondrial respiration study on the effects of 2 hours of morning sunlight on reproductive health. I would love to fund something like that." Yes, undoubtedly the issue for people who are having trouble conceiving is their lack of a good tan.

We do not propose to be experts on IVF, but we can say two things here. First, Shanahan is no more expert than we are, and it's a shame that her wealth has afforded her a platform, while also persuading her she's entitled to hold forth on important subjects she's not qualified to speak about. Second, even if one has legitimate concerns about IVF, there are appropriate ways to express that and not-so-appropriate ways. Shanahan chose the latter, we would say.

Put another way, we suspect that the roughly 2% of American parents who turned to IVF are going to be none-too-pleased to hear that Shanahan thinks they were snowed by the In Vitro-Industrial Complex. It's another reason to think that as the Kennedy-Shanahan ticket becomes more familiar to the voting public, the fewer voters (and the fewer Democratic voters, in particular) there will be who are willing to support the duo. (Z)

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