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IVF, PGD and Twin Girls for Joe Francis
Joe Francis’ girlfriend Abbey Wilson is four months pregnant with twin girls. Francis, the creator and founder of Girls Gone Wild, and Wilson, a model, are openly talking about the fact that they used in vitro fertilization (IVF) with preimplanatation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to get pregnant and choose the gender of their babies instead of trying to conceive naturally.
PGD was the appeal for the couple to do IVF, and sex selection was a bonus, Francis says. PGD is a form of genetic testing whereby embryos created with IVF are screened for genetic diseases. With PGD you can also determine which embryos carry male and female chromosomes. Only the embryos that are genetically normal are transferred as part of the IVF process.
When it comes to fertility treatment, Francis says he’s exposed to two types of people in Hollywood: those who do IVF and those who know nothing about the technology. Both of those types have spurred him and Wilson to be open about their choice.
“A lot do of people in this town do IVF and it’s the secret they don’t talk about. We have a lot of close friends that won’t even admit it to us; people are so afraid of criticism,” Francis says. “We just thought we’d come out with it and explain why, and bring awareness to it,” he adds.
Francis and Wilson were not at risk of passing any diseases on to their children, but were lured by the promise of healthy babies. “Once the child is born, people do everything for their children to make sure that everything is perfect,” Francis says. “Why not start 10 months before or a year ahead and then you really make sure things are perfect and you really make sure they have a good quality of life?” Francis asks.