Injustice at the Heart of the Reproductive Industry

There’s Injustice at the Heart of the Reproductive Industry

by Sandra John Calhoun

For fifty years people have celebrated breakthroughs in reproductive technologies have had a number of undeniable benefits. They have stopped the massive birth-defect rate that came in the wake of the Mears virus. They have allowed us to prevent a whole host of genetic diseases that more traditional treatments and therapies could not prevent. They have freed women from the dangers and limits of natural reproduction. They have radically equalized the roles that men and women have in the production of children. They have even allowed same-sex couples to truly participate in parenthood. These are unquestionably benefits to humankind.

And more recently, we have seen the widespread availability of the genetic improvement of humanity. We can now make children smarter, stronger, and healthier right from their artificial conception. This ought to be a radical step towards truly eradicating inequality of all kinds. Only now, nearly three centuries after the writing of the Declaration of Independence, are we close to being able to truly say that all people are created equal. Equally strong. Equally intelligent. Equally well-equipped to be productive members of society. Equally able to be truly free and truly happy.

But right now, there is a tremendous income-gap that separates those who can afford to take advantage of advanced reproductive technologies and those who cannot—and that divide doesn’t just affect those people who want clones or genetically-engineered children. Because the U.S. has stubbornly refused a single-payer system, many Americans are still without healthcare insurance, which means that they’re reduced to either taking out large loans in order to have children or simply going childless.

Government subsidies, you ask? Even after the long and complicated process of receiving a license to have a child, those who need government assistance to pay for it have to jump through a lengthy series of applications and interviews before they can get a Promoting Families Initiative Grant. Many people have told me that they don’t have the time or the patience to go through the whole process—even when they have a strong desire for a child.

And let’s face it: the application process for a PFIG privileges certain people over others. The story of Shawna and Grant Morris is a perfect example of CONTINUE READING ON PAGE 2


jade: more whitepeople bullshit (and befor you ask, I’m WHITE)

mdk: Some people shouldn’t be having kids, anyway.

Jason Black: Give me a break. Not everybody needs to have kids. If you’re too poor to afford to have a baby, then you’re too poor to have a baby. Fuck these people. Those kinds of people shouldn’t be having kids, anyway.