Resolve recently featured a request for infertility patients to voice their opposition to Initiative 26 which is a personhood legislation, and after reading both arguments for and against, it seems there is some middle ground missing.
Proponents of the measure say they are fighting a battle for human life, and I can’t disagree with that premise. Having embraced the pulsing visions of rice cake like embryos that we saw on the screen during our many attempts at conception I can’t say that I don’t believe life begins at conception.
That might not be politically correct, but spending so much time on my knees praying that one of those beautiful dividing bunches of cells would implant in Lisa’s uterus removed any doubts I ever had about whether life begins at conception. In fact, our baby book of Elliana features her rice cake pictures minutes after being thawed out of at the New Jersey fertility clinic they were in for two months after our fresh IVF cycle failed.
The opponents argue that personhood legislation could result in IVF becoming illegal.
That’s where I get lost.
I see nothing in the language of these bills that in any way states that medically necessary in vitro fertilization techniques are threatened. I’ve discussed this issue with numerous public relations people at various organizations who have asked me to comment on this issue, and the only response I got did not relate to family building through IVF.
The real issue seems to be abortion rights.
Now I am not going to tackle that issue on this blog, but both sides of the argument are being disingenuous with their arguments if they are using in vitro as a way to promote their political agendas regarding abortion.
So here is what I propose.
To appease the concerns of the growing medically challenged population of parenthood seeking couples in the world, the supporters of personhood measures should unequivocally state that they DO NOT support any restrictions on any medically assisted reproductive procedure, period.
I can only hope that the Christian organizations writing these policies are not of the opinion that because the Bible describes very clearly that we are people within the womb, that somehow means that a couple that cannot conceive naturally is somehow sinning by seeking the help of a doctor to conceive.
That would be like saying someone who has cancer should simply let God’s will play out, instead of considering that perhaps God inspired infertility doctors to help us continue to enjoy the miracle of conception amid the mess we’ve made of our reproductive systems due to everything from environmental to personal career choices that run counter to our procreative biology.
To the opponents who say that the personhood legislation could make IVF illegal, I would have to ask this: if the measures are rewritten to explicitly exclude anything related to reproductive medicine, will they gain the support of the family building community?
I can only hope the answer from all of the reproductive organizations is an unwavering “yes”.
Otherwise I fear family building is being used by both opponents and proponents of personhood legislation to promote political agendas related to abortion, and that is not fair to any of 7 million or so couples trying to conceive.