from my state – literally and figuratively – and other places. i'm not in florida any more, but i haven't given up the sunshine.


the right to give birth

an article in the current issue of mothers jones explores the question: is there is a right to reproductive assistance?* the anecdotes include a clinic that refuses to perform ivf for a lesbian couple because its physicians are morally opposed. and another, actually most clinics according to the article, refuse services for couples with factors that make successful insemination less likely – success lures new ‘customers’; failure is bad for business.

at opposite ends of the spectrum: conception is an accident for some; for others it requires painstaking preparation, loads of cash and years of trying.

the idea that clinics can view the process as pure capitalism is disturbing. at the same time, is it not also a natural product of a free enterprise society?

legal, moral, financial and ethical grey areas make reproductive rights, feasibly, the most daunting issue of the day. should a married woman and man who are infertile be entitled to assistance, but a not partnered same-sex couple? should a young, healthy woman be given preference for reproductive treatment over an unhealthy or older (define that) woman? should a line be drawn (and where)? and who should be responsible to pay?

*full disclosure: i’ve only read about a third of the article, so far.


Blogger Cindy said...

How do I comment on this? So many directions. $2000 far... and no little one.

Early job as a child protective case worker and dealing with people who have no business having a child who can get pregnant at will.

Outsiders trying to dictate my individual "morality" and limit my rights because of their presumed "morality".

Florida Laws! Grrrrr!

7/06/2006 02:47:00 PM

Blogger Estelle said...

I actually believe whole heartedly that a doctor has a right to refuse to care for any patient for any reason in a non emergency situation. Lesbian wants IVF- Go elsewhere. Lesbian shot 9 times and needs assistance- help her.
Doctors are people. They have beliefs, feelings, thoughts, emotions, etc. If something makes them uncomfortable, they should not be forced to do it. If someone truly believes that they will wind up at the pearly gates and God will condemn them for helping two women bring a child into this world, then they absolutely should be able to object.

I do not believe that non emergency health care is a right. I dont believe it's a right to get breast implants. I don't believe it's a right to have your teeth whitened. I don't believe it's a right to have assisted reproductive technology. I don't care who does any of the above, but I don't think that it is a god given right to have it done.

And yes, some people should not have children. I wish that there were a way to sterilize everyone at birth and then petition to have it reversed (okay, not really, but sometimes it's a good thought). Years of teaching and foster care have shown me plenty of people that should never have bred.

And then, there is us. The lowly lesbians of FL who have babies. The babies that already exist. Should a judge be forced to allow me to adopt Charlie? No. But he should not be prohibited to either. I would be fine if I judge told me he would not handle the case. I would find a new judge. Because there ARE plenty of them out there would would allow it, if the state did. Although then that brings up judges using their moral compass versus the law to decide something. hmmm... I am pretty sure that they have to swear not to do that. Okay, skip that idea. Doctors do not have to swear never to use their moral guidance. In fact, they are required to each and every day. Judges were a bad example perhaps.

One of the doctors who denied fertility treatments to a lesbian woman in San Fran recently attended the birth of a child of a friend of mine, also a lesbian. At birth, he was cordial, professional, caring, and treated both women as equal parents. She needed (well, in her opinion) a doctor present at her birth, and he provided his services. But no one NEEDS IVF, so he was well within (in my opinion) his rights to deny it to the other couple.

Wow that was long and possibly made little sense.

7/07/2006 10:07:00 AM

Blogger betsy said...

made lots of sense! thanks ...

7/07/2006 03:48:00 PM


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