Infertility is a complex problem. But one thing is certain: don’t make children a postscript to a career.
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a baby carriage!This familiar playground song anticipates the best intentions of adult life. Certainly there can be no greater pleasure for a couple than welcoming a child. And in many cases there is no greater sorrow than infertility. If one or two years pass without a pregnancy, a couple can experience deep feelings of loss, anxiety, depression, conflict and stigma. Read more…
Past Eugenics and sterilisation programs in the United States are coming back to bite them, with North Carolina currently the first State to address compensation for victims.
According to the North Carolina Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation, at one time 31 states in the United States had government-run eugenics programs. In North Carolina alone, close to 8,000 men, women, and children, largely poor, black, disabled or uneducated, were forcibly sterilized from 1929 to 1974. The programs were aimed at creating a better society by eliminating those considered undesirable. Read more…
A Canadian radio station created world-wide controversy recently when it ran a “win a baby” competition.
An Ottawa music station, Hot 89.9, recently launched a “Win a Baby” contest. The prize offered was up to three rounds of fertility treatment worth C$35,000. It’s reported that the station received around 400 applications “from a diverse range of people, including same-sex couples, single women and cancer patients.” Read more…
We let infertile couples get married: why shouldn’t we allow same sex couples to get married? Why should a 65 year old opposite sex couple be allowed to marry, and a 65 year old same sex couple not be allowed to marry?
The essential public purpose of marriage is to attach mothers and fathers to their children and to one another. These two questions are addressing the situations where no children are likely to result from the union.
First, there is a clear difference between what same sex couples do and what infertile married couples do. No one could have children by performing same sex sexual acts. Yet, this is not true of the type of act performed by sterile married couples when they engage in vaginal intercourse. The lack of complementarity in same sex couples is a condition that renders it impossible for them to perform the kind of act that makes them organically one. If a married couple discovers that they are infertile, this obviously does not change what they have been doing in bed. They still perform the same kind of act they have been doing, perhaps for years. The difference is not in what they do—the kind of act—but in a condition that is accidental or extrinsic to what they do, namely the fact of having become sterile.
In fact, married couples who live a normal lifespan will all become infertile eventually, just through old age. This obviously does not take anything away Read more…
About ten years ago, I set the goal for myself to perform a one-arm pullup.
Working diligently and using a variety of training techniques, I got very close to that goal. Agonizingly close. Despite years of effort, the feat eluded me. Yet I never gave up.
Finally, I got the idea to radically restrict my carbohydrate intake, lose the belly I was developing and thereby increase my strength-to-weight ratio. I cut out sugar, grain and other starchy foods. Fifteen pounds came right off, and I was able to get my chin over the bar using one hand. This makes me very happy.
You might ask, Ari, what the heck does this have to do with anything that the Ruth Institute stands for? Are you just writing this to brag? Read more…
Yesterday there was a segment on NPR titled Taming The Twin Trend From Fertility Treatments. They talked about how various forms of ART have caused an increase in the incidence of twin pregnancies:
Twins, once a rarity to marvel over, are now a common part of American culture, thanks in large part to increased use of reproductive technology. Twins are conceived naturally just 2 percent of the time; for those who get pregnant with fertility treatments the rate is more than 40 percent.
They also discussed some of the health risks associated with twins: Read more…
Yet more evidence that Anonymous Sperm and Egg Donation is Over (and not soon enough, if you ask me).
Currently, in the United States, you need a license to sell a condo or cut hair in a salon, but not to broker human life. The $3 billion fertility industry goes largely unregulated, offering blank pages to those searching for information where the rest of us are free to access vital statistics of public record. “I’m not a treatment, I’m a person, and those records belong to me,” says Pratten.
On top of the serious risk of inbreeding and the medical and health concerns associated with anonymous sperm and egg donation, we all should be entitled to know our biological heritage for the sake of the effect it has on our self image and identity: Read more…
As a defender of natural marriage, I am often asked why actually having children is not a requirement for marriage. I claim that the essential public purpose of marriage is to attach mothers and fathers to their children and to one another. If that is the case, why are infertile couples permitted to marry. So, I give you my answer: Henry VIII.
This guy dispatched his wives who did not produce the heirs he wanted. There was never any question that he intended to have children with his wives. But when the wives didn’t produce the heirs he wanted, or in some cases, any heirs at all, he thought himself entitled to discard them.
Discovering actual fertility in advance is way too costly to use as a criterion for marriage. Ending a marriage because infertility was discovered after the fact is heartless, not to mention, grotesquely unfair to women.
Infertile couples are not a good argument for the state to redefine marriage as the union of any two persons, including pairs of individuals who are structurally incapable of even performing the kind of act that could produce a child. Infertility has nothing to do with the marriage debate.