October 4, 2005

Hoosier Daddy?

I think I saw a stultifyingly didactic movie adaptation of this once, A Handmaid's Tale. I hear the book was fine, but totally implausible.

Then I read a story about an Indiana legislator introducing a bill that would require a woman to get a "gestational certificate" before she gets pregnant, otherwise, she'll be "commit[ing] unauthorized reproduction," and I figure I'd better add that movie back into my Netflix queue.

The proposed law is meant to codify all the currently murky legal and parental rights issues being raised by assisted reproduction technologies like IVF, egg donation, and surrogacy. And how does it clear this up? Simple. A man and a woman must be married, and their family origins, values and sexual history must be documented and assessed. I mean, who could object to that?

The Crime of "Unauthorized Reproduction"
[boomantribune.com--yeah, I've never heard of them, either, via boingboing]
Draft copy of the legistlation [in.gov]

[update: the Indianapolis Star reports that the legislation has been dropped. Turns out it's "more complex than anticipated." Gotta love that midwestern understatement.]

6 Comments

I live in Indiana, and have heard much about this legislation. The sponsor, Sen. Patricia Miller (R-Indianapolis), is generally considered to be a wing nut. I'd like to say that there's no chance in hell something like this would pass, but Indiana hasn't gone blue since FDR.

Oh so scary.

What happens to kids born without prior approval? Insurance won't cover the birth? Extermination?

Gattaca, here we are...

What are the chances of getting this law implemented in Hollywood?
Right now, there's no barriers to Tori Spelling, Charlie Sheen or Paris Hilton procreating (of course, she's from NYC, but...).

Not to mention having a list of approved baby names (OK, Kal-el?).

Where's Bill Bennett when you need him? This issue cries out for his input. All he needs to do is let go of the slot machine handle and get back to the studio.

Although I have to say that I am suspicious of an article written by someone with the byline
"Ductape Fatwa".

[And I'm suspicious of news from a guy named Wolf Blitzer. So we're even. -ed.]

I guess this is one of those issues that will plague humanity for all times. Is it right to set a limit on pro-creation at all? It is done in China right now, and done on a self-imposed level in many underdeveloped countries where female babies are aborted instead of adopted at term. This causing many women harm both psychologically and physically as the abortion might not be done in the most hygienic of conditions.
We have licenses for vehicles (except bicycles, but that is probably just a matter of time), guns and everything else that may cause irreparable harm to other human beings, so why not reproduction?
Let me be devil's advocate here; Is this not the one time where irreparable harm caused to another human being can be prevented immediately? Is not society filled with people scarred for life by negligent or smothering parents? Are the psychology industry not filled with clients who are willing to pay large sums to repair damages caused by a parent? So, is licensing of reproduction bad?
But, who is to say whether a person will turn into a bad parent? Other parents? An "objective" board consisting of who knows what kind of people? But then again, we have the jury system so maybe it should consist of "equals".
All in all, I think we need to reflect a bit more deeply on this issue before doing the knee-jerk reaction. Think long term, think strategically for the best for us all, socioeconomically. Do we need one more mouth to feed that we need to support until it is able to provide for it self? Then again, we don't know if the child not being allowed to be born might have turned out to become a brilliant scientist churning out the cure for cancer, or something else of major importance...

Devilishly Yours
/RedSock

Isn't Bill Bennet busy justifying extermination of... wait--they must not have been pre approved. Now I get it.

And Redsock, if there really was a way to pre approve reproduction, would we be free of rape or would there be a special category for "parenthood by forceable means"? Just asking.

And how to encourage people to have more kids: pre certify and force them to reproduce? Eh? The mind tangles..

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