Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Boone & McMichael: “Reproductive Objectification”

Meghan Boone (Wake Forest University School of Law) and Benjamin McMichael (University of Alabama) recently posted their article, Reproductive Objectification, on SSRN (forthcoming in the Minnesota Law Review).  Here is the abstract:

The American system of rights is individualized – premised on the concept of singular, physically separate, and autonomous people. The rise of the fetal personhood movement complicates this basic understanding. If rights attach to singular, autonomous people, and fetuses are legally people, then the body of a pregnant person becomes conceptually unintelligible as it contains potentially two, interrelated people. Such a circumstance is fundamentally a contradiction within a framework that insists that rights attach to people who are, by definition, singular, separate and autonomous.

This Article argues that, as a result of this apparent contradiction, fetal personhood laws make the humanity of the pregnant person conceptually precarious. If the law has no framework for two rights holders in one body, then the pregnant person must be something else entirely. She becomes less of a subject and more of an object – a reproductive vessel, merely the container for another individual rights’ holder. Reproductive justice scholars and advocates have long argued that laws purporting to endow the fetus with personhood exacerbate the “maternal-fetal conflict” and undermine pregnant people’s rights. This Article argues, relying on both decades of feminist legal theory and original empirical evidence, that granting full personhood to a fetus has an even more insidious outcome – undermining the legal personhood of women entirely and recategorizing them in the eyes of the law as non-person objects. Looking across cultures and eras, it is unfortunately not difficult to ascertain what might happen when human beings are treated as objects. Such objectification results in almost certain abuse, sometimes of the most horrifying variety.

February 20, 2024 in Alternative Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 9, 2019

Utah Supreme Court Asserts Gay Parents Constitutional Rights to Surrogacy

From Above the Law:

Talk about dragging your feet. Oral argument took place in the case of In Re Gestational Agreement before the Utah Supreme Court in September 2017. A time when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle weren’t even engaged yet! But hoping to avoid the dreaded two-year mark, the Utah Supreme Court finally issued its opinion in the case last week. At 75 pages, the opinion is long, but it has a good ending for hopeful LGBTQ parents.

Read more here.

August 9, 2019 in Alternative Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 2, 2019

Cambodia Continues Jail of Surrogate Mothers

From 

Cambodia is continuing to jail surrogate mothers. Three women were charged with human trafficking last week. After being detained in Vietnam they had been handed over to Cambodian authorities, allegedly carrying babies for foreign nationals. If convicted, they could be jailed for as long as 20 years.

One of the women has already delivered her baby.

Cambodia hastily outlawed surrogacy in 2016 after Thailand also banned it. Since then, dozens of women and some surrogacy agents have been arrested.

Read more here.

August 2, 2019 in Alternative Reproduction, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 15, 2019

IVF Tragedy: Three Women and Two Babies

From BioEdge:

Now this is really complicated, so buckle up. It is an example of the emotional and legal turmoil that can happen when couples put themselves in the hands of IVF clinics.

Let’s start with the CHA Fertility Center. This is an international business with two clinics in Los Angeles and four in South Korea. Its services include egg freezing, LGBTQ fertility treatment, sex selection and surrogacy. California has become a magnet for international fertility treatment because its loose regulation permits sex selection and surrogacy. 

Read more here.

July 15, 2019 in Alternative Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Fertility Doctor Inseminates Women With His Own Sperm

From NBC News:

A fertility doctor in Canada was formally reprimanded this week for inseminating at least 11 women with his own sperm and giving the wrong sperm to dozens more women beginning in the 1970s.

Dr. Norman Barwin, 80, was declared "incompetent" by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, which Barwin had resigned from in 2014 after patients began to complain that their children were conceived with sperm that didn't belong to the intended father.

Read more here.

June 29, 2019 in Alternative Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 24, 2019

New York State Bill to Legalise Commercial Surrogacy Hit Road Block

From BioEdge:

A New York State bill to legalise commercial surrogacy has hit an unexpected road block: Gloria Steinem. The 85-year-old icon and other feminists have joined hands with Christian and conservative groups to lobby against the proposal.

New York is one of three US states which ban paid surrogacy. However, a strong LGBT lobby and its allies have backed a new, profit-motivated approach. A bill, which is strongly supported by Governor Andrew Cuomo, has already passed in the Senate. With the 2019 session of the State Legislature winding up on June 19, the debate is becoming heated.

Read more here.

 

June 24, 2019 in Alternative Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 6, 2019

German LGBT's Fight for Right to a Family

From Reuters:

When German IT professional Sarah Kinzebach had her first child, it took six months of lengthy checks for her female partner to be legally recognized as a co-parent. Had her partner been a man, it would have happened automatically.

Germany recognized same-sex relationships in 2001, granting couples greater rights on inheritance, tax and other benefits, and legalized same-sex marriage in 2017 despite stiff opposition from conservative politicians and the Catholic church.

Read more here.

 

June 6, 2019 in Alternative Reproduction, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Female Veteran Denied In Vitro Because She's Single

From CBS News:

Hundreds of military families have had access to fertility treatments in recent years but not all veterans qualify for them. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, 567 families have benefited from in vitro fertilization since the military started covering the procedures in 2016 but veterans who are single still have to pay for the roughly $12,000 treatment on their own.

Toni Hackney said she'd always planned on being a mom, but the call of duty complicated her ambitions. After serving in the United States Army for 16 years, Hackney decided to start a family in retirement. But complications meant exploring in vitro fertility treatments. When Hackney looked to Veterans Affairs, it wouldn't pay – because she isn't married.

"Whether people like it or not, as a female in the military if you're not there more than your male counterpart, the odds of you getting promoted or getting a good evaluation, it's not, it's not there," Hackney told CBS News' Michelle Miller.

Read more here.

April 9, 2019 in Alternative Reproduction, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Australian High Court to Determine Legal Parentage of a Child Born via Sperm Donation

From The Conversation:

The family courts have historically treated legal parentage as a question of who has “begotten or borne” a child. But increasingly complex family situations created as a result of donor conception, surrogacy, IVF and DNA testing are sorely testing this biblical-sounding definition.

In 2019, the Australian High Court will be hearing the appeal concerning the legal parentage of a child born via sperm donation. This is a crucial opportunity for the court to reconsider the “begotten or borne” definition, and the emphasis currently placed on biology and how someone was conceived.

Read more here.

 

March 17, 2019 in Alternative Reproduction, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

California Trying to Get Health Insurance to Cover In Vitro Fertilization

From CBS:

In vitro fertilization may be covered by health insurance in California soon.

Currently, the Knox-Keen Health Care Service Plan Act of 1975 requires health care service plans and health insurers to offer coverage for infertility treatment, except in vitro fertilization. The law also exempts any employer, health care service plan, or health insurer that is a religious organization from offering infertility coverage.

AB 767 would do away with those exemptions and require insurance policies and service plans to cover in vitro fertilization and mature oocyte cryopreservation. The new coverage law would take effect January 1, 2020 if it’s passed and signed by Governor Gavin Newsom.

Read more here.

February 27, 2019 in Alternative Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Judge Grants US citizenship to Twin Son of Gay Married Couple

From BBC News:

A twin boy born to American and Israeli same-sex parents was wrongly denied US citizenship when his twin brother was not, a US judge has ruled.

The judge in Los Angeles found that the state department was wrong to request biological evidence that the boy was blood-related to his American father.

The US had originally only granted citizenship to his brother after his test showed DNA from the American dad.

Read more here.

February 24, 2019 in Alternative Reproduction, Marriage (impediments) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 4, 2019

Arizona Law Determines Fate of Frozen Embryos in Divorce

From ABA Journal:

For more than two decades, state courts have wrestled with how to settle disputes over frozen embryos when couples divorce or otherwise split. In such cases, one spouse typically wants to keep the embryos to eventually conceive children, while the other doesn’t.

Courts have tended to side with the party who doesn’t wish to be-come a parent on the grounds that no one can be forced to procreate. But at times, rulings have gone the other way—especially in instances where the frozen embryos represent a person’s only chance of having biological children—leaving a split in the courts and uncertainty for litigants.

But a first-of-its-kind law would end that uncertainty in Arizona. The state’s Parental Right to Embryo law, which took effect in July, requires courts in divorce proceedings to award in vitro embryos to the spouse who intends to allow them to “develop to birth.”

Read more here.

February 4, 2019 in Alternative Reproduction, Current Affairs, Divorce (grounds) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 26, 2018

IVF Kids May Suffer From High Blood Pressure

From Business Standard:

Turns out, kids born through fertilization may be more likely to develop

A research published in the Journal of the found a higher average blood pressure among teens born through IVF than in children conceived naturally.

For the study, researchers compared 54 teens conceived through IVF with 43 of their friends who had been conceived naturally. The teens' average age was 17.

In adults, a blood pressure above 120/80 is considered high. But in children and adolescents, a normal blood pressure depends on age and height. If a youngster has a higher blood pressure than 90 percent to 95 percent of other males or females his or her age and height, then the child may have high blood pressure.

Read more here.

October 26, 2018 in Alternative Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 16, 2018

New Law Will Require Insurers To Cover Egg, Embryo Freezing For Cancer Patients

From The Chicago Tribune:

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill into law Monday that, beginning Jan. 1, will require health insurance companies in Illinois to cover the preservation of eggs, sperm and embryos for patients with cancer and certain other diseases.

Those patients often have to undergo treatments that can leave them sterile. Yet, until now, not all insurers have covered the costs of preserving their fertility.

Sperm freezing can cost as little as a couple of hundred dollars, while the process of preserving eggs and embryos can cost more than $10,000.

About 5,800 Illinois residents of reproductive age — between 14 and 45 — are diagnosed with cancer each year, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Read more here.

September 16, 2018 in Alternative Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 3, 2018

Surrogacy and Thorny Issues of Identity, Parenthood and Status in Modern Families

From Lexis Nexis:

AB v CD and others [2018] EWHC 1590 (Fam) illustrates how the needs of modern families formed through assisted conception and surrogacy continue to challenge and outpace the law. Louisa Ghevaert and Richard Jones analyse the case in the September issue of Family Law ([2018] Fam Law 1187).

On one level, the case focused on disputes about arrangements for the children’s upbringing, including exercise of parental responsibility and contact. However, at the heart of this case were fundamental issues about the legal identity and status of the parents and children because the biological intended parents had not applied for parental orders.

This case marked the first time the court had to deal with a situation whereby a family created through surrogacy encountered serious domestic violence, marital breakdown, divorce and remarriage forming a new blended family.

Read more here.

September 3, 2018 in Alternative Reproduction, Custody (parenting plans), International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 2, 2018

This Company Covers IVF Treatment for Employees

From People:

For more than 14 years, Tosha Pratt and her husband, Nick Pratt, had tried to conceive a baby without any luck. Unable to afford costly in vitro fertilization treatments, they wondered if they would have to give up.

Then, a few days after Thanksgiving in 2016, Pratt sat down at her desk at Ultimate Software in Dawsonville, Georgia — where she works as an implementation consultant — and opened a company email delivering some incredible news: Her employer had decided to cover IVF treatments for any worker who was struggling to have a family.

“I sat there and cried tears of joy,” Pratt, now 35, tells PEOPLE. “This was finally our channel to have the family we’d always wanted. It was the best early Christmas present ever.”

She and her husband, 38, are now parents to a 4 1/2-month daughter, Alayna Faith, born on March 5, 2018, after a successful IVF treatment done last June.

Read more here.

August 2, 2018 in Alternative Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Single Men Increasingly Having Biological Children via Surrogacy

From Chicago Tribune:

Bill Guest was about 30 when his biological clock kicked in.

His friends were having kids left and right, and suddenly being a doting uncle wasn’t enough. Guest wasn’t particularly interested in getting married, but he did very much want a child, and not an older child.

“I wanted a baby,” said Guest, 40, of Villa Park. “I wanted to experience all of the stages of life.”

With Father’s Day approaching, single fathers such as Guest are a reminder of how far modern men will go to become parents.

Read more here.

July 15, 2018 in Alternative Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Supreme Court Rules Against Women in NIFLA v Becerra

From NBC News:

This week the United States Supreme Court ruled against women. Or at least, it ruled against women who might be looking for information about their reproductive rights.

And things are likely to get worse. On Wednesday, Justice Anthony Kennedy, the swing vote on so many important issues including gay rights, affirmative action and abortion, announced that he is retiring from the high court. We will only continue to see more harmful decisions when it comes to the ability of women to control what happens to their bodies.

The court's decision in the case of National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra is just the tip of the iceberg. While there can be no doubt that we must zealously guard the First Amendment rights of those who do not wish to speak, particularly when that speech contravenes their religious beliefs, those rights are not absolute. At some point they must give way to public health concerns and the need to provide patients and would-be patients with accurate information.

Read more here.

July 5, 2018 in Abortion, Alternative Reproduction, Current Affairs, Religion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, June 23, 2018

USAID Cuts Funding for Family Planning in Africa

From Independent Online:

The Marie Stopes Ladies who drive from village to village in the remote north of Burkina Faso offering free contraception, advice on family planning, sexual health and sometimes abortion, may have to stop work in June.

The ten have been entirely funded by a $1.25 million (about R15.7 million) grant from USAID but the US development agency cut all money for Marie Stopes International when it refused to comply with a rule reinstated by Republican President Donald Trump in January 2017.

It bans funding to any foreign NGO carrying out or offering advice on abortions anywhere. The goal is to please Christian conservatives who strongly oppose abortion and are a major part of Trump's political base.

MSI and the International Planned Parenthood Federation are among only four to reject the conditions of the order. They offer abortion services, in accordance with local rules, and say it is a last resort in preventing unwanted or unsafe births.

Read more here.

June 23, 2018 in Alternative Reproduction, Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Eating Fast Food Linked to Infertility

From Reuters:

Women who eat a lot of fast food may take longer to become pregnant and be more likely to experience infertility than their counterparts who rarely if ever eat these types of meals, a recent study suggests.

Compared to women who generally avoided fast food, women who indulged four or more times a week before they conceived took almost a month longer to become pregnant, the study of 5,598 first-time mothers in Australia, New Zealand and the UK found.

Overall, 2,204 women, or 39 percent, conceived within one month of when they began having sex with their partner without contraception and 468, or 8 percent, experienced infertility and failed to conceive after 12 months of trying.

Read more here.

May 27, 2018 in Alternative Reproduction, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)