AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: Test Tube Babies
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For ages, the prospect of conceiving a human being in a laboratory seemed ripped from the pages of science fiction. Then, in 1978, everything changed.
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE “Test Tube Babies,” from filmmakers Chana Gazit and Hilary Klotz Steinman, tells the story of doctors, researchers, and hopeful couples who pushed the limits of science and triggered a technological revolution in human reproduction. In so doing, they landed at the center of a controversy whose reverberations continue to this day.
Much like the current debate over stem cell research and its applications, "the battle over in vitro fertilization (IVF) drew in scientists, social activists, religious leaders, lawmakers and everyday Americans," says Gazit. "More than a scientific debate, it was a philosophical and moral struggle."
Despite the controversy, scientists refused to give up their pursuit and today more than 400,000 babies have been born in America as a result of in vitro fertilization, and more than two million around the world.
"IVF revolutionized reproductive science," says executive producer Mark Samels. "It has changed the lives of thousands of Americans and offered new hope for families around the globe."
“action-packed drama” -The New York Times
“intriguing” -The Wall Street Journal
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This film originally aired in 2006 and is currently available to stream on demand with KPBS Passport.
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Steward/Gazit Producitons, Inc. for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. Written by Chana Gazit. Produced/ Directed by Chana Gazit & Hilary Klotz Steinman. Edited by David Steward. Cinematography: Erich Roland. Eddie Marritz, Stephen McCarthy and Peter Nelson. Music by Mark Suozzo. Narrated by Blair Brown. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE is a production of WGBH Boston. Senior producer Sharon Grimberg. Executive producer Mark Samels.