Wednesday, October 05, 2005

the hoosiermaid's tale

why is it that whenever indiana gets national attention, it's for something stupid, or worse yet, bigoted?

everybody's talking all this stuff about indiana's proposed unauthorized reproduction bill:

Republican lawmakers are drafting new legislation that will make marriage a requirement for motherhood in the state of Indiana, including specific criminal penalties for unmarried women who do become pregnant "by means other than sexual intercourse."

According to a draft of the recommended change in state law, every woman in Indiana seeking to become a mother throu gh assisted reproduction therapy such as in vitro fertilization, sperm donation, and egg donation, must first file for a "petition for parentage" in their local county probate court.

Only women who are married will be considered for the "gestational certificate" that must be presented to any doctor who facilitates the pregnancy. Further, the "gestational certificate" will only be given to married couples that successfully complete the same screening process currently required by law of adoptive parents.

outrageous, offensive, and flagrantly unconstitutional. i can't believe that such a bill could ever truly pass, even in indiana (though maybe further south, like in texas!), and even if it did, it would certainly be struck down before it could be enforced.

but the fact that the draft has even reached this stage disgraces the state of indiana. as practically every reasonable person on the blogosphere has already pointed out, proposals like this aren't a good way to encourage smart young people to move to or stay in indiana. in fact, if you wanted to create brain drain, laws this like are exactly how to go about it. educated and talented young people, the people who the state so desperately wants to attract, want to live in tolerant, gay-friendly communities. it's not that our "best and brightest" are all gay per se (though to be sure, a significant percentage are). but studies show that the younger generations are increasingly "orientation-blind"—they don't have a problem with it.

and make no mistake: this law targets gays (though not exclusively; it actually targets all non-married and/or non-churchgoing folk). if only "married" people are allowed to have kids, and gays are prohibited from getting married, then gays are prohibited from having kids. QED. if they are lucky enough to be biologically fertile, they could still procreate the old-fashioned way (penile penetration)... but then that requires "heterosexual" sex, so it's not a very good solution.

state senator pat miller on why she thinks this bill is necessary:

According to Sen. Miller, the laws prohibiting surrogacy in the state of Indiana are currently too vague and unenforceable, and that is the purpose of the new legislation.

"But it's not just surrogacy," Miller told NUVO. " The law is vague on all types of extraordinary types of infertility treatment, and we wanted to address that as well."

"Ordinary treatment would be the mother's egg and the father's sperm. But now there are a lot of extraordinary thing s that raise issues of who has legal rights as parents," she explained when asked what she considers "extraordinary" infertility treatment.

Sen. Miller believes the requirement of marriage for parenting is for the benefit of the children that result from infertility treatments.

"We did want to address the issue of whether or not the law should allow single people to be parents. Studies have shown that a child raised by both parents - a mother and a father - do better. So, we do want to have laws that protect the children," she explained.

When asked specifically if she believes marriage should be a requirement for motherhood, and if that is part of the bill's intention, Sen. Miller responded, "Yes. Yes, I do."

of course, the primary fallacy (and there are many fallacies) with this line of thinking is that it equates "married couple" with "committed, loving couple". if you perform a venn diagram, you will see that these terms are not even close to the same thing. and people all over the place are howling that the "studies show" line had been repeatedly debunked.

one final irony: steph and others point out one very famous person whose birth would have been illegal under this statute: jesus christ, whose unwed mother needed a little in-vitrio assistance from god himself.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i am so shocked I can't even think.....