The Equal Access to Reproductive Care Act treats children as commodities
California Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CD 28) recently introduced the Equal Access to Reproductive Care Act, which purportedly aims to help those struggling with infertility; but in truth, it only creates a larger issue for children’s rights.
Currently in the United States, couples are eligible to receive tax benefits for fertility treatments only if they are in a heterosexual relationship since these are the only relationships capable of fertility in and of themselves. However, sexual revolutionaries view nature and biological truths as an injustice, and they are attempting to expand the definition of “infertility” to include those who cannot reproduce “either as a single individual or with a partner without medical intervention.”
In response to the legislation, Joseph Backholm in WORLD explains: “Under this definition, single people, as well as people in same-sex relationships, could be ‘infertile,’ which only makes sense in a world where men can get pregnant, and no one can define what a woman is.”
This is exactly what the Equal Access to Reproductive Care Act aims to do. In a press release, Rep. Schiff says, “our tax code is sorely outdated and makes it harder for LGBTQ+ individuals and couples to afford treatments to bring children into their families, such as IVF. This bill would rectify this iniquity by allowing LGBTQ+ couples to deduct the cost of assisted reproductive treatments as a medical expense—a privilege heterosexual couples already have.”
He went on: “Every person regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, or relationship status deserves the same opportunity to start and expand a family.”
This is an entirely adult-centered view of the relationship between parents and children.
This legislation treats a child as “an accessory that exists to meet the needs of adults,” as Backholm puts it. Children have a natural right to both a mother and father, and Schiff’s proposal completely disregards the best interest of children.
“In his view, the adults deserve the child simply because they want the child. Any disadvantage the child experiences by being commodified and denied a relationship with one or both of his or her parents is outweighed by the emotional satisfaction the adults will experience.
However, if the needs of children are primary, a child’s right to be known and loved by his or her mother and father is more important than the adult desire to have a child. After all, men cannot mother and women cannot father. Children need both mothers and fathers,” writes Backholm.
Further, this legislation encourages the use of technology to bring children into the world, which has serious moral implications. Surrogacy, for example, intentionally separates a child from one or both of his biological parents. This creates in them a “primal wound” that manifests as depression, abandonment issues, and emotional problems throughout their lives.
Artificial reproduction often disregards the physical as well as the emotional well-being of lab-created children, as only 7% of children created in a lab will be born alive. Most will perish in forgotten freezers, won’t survive “thawing,” will fail to implant, or will be discarded if they’re non-viable or the wrong sex, or be “selectively reduced” (aborted), or be donated to research. This happens largely because there are no limits on the number of embryos created for someone seeking IVF. The unused ones are then “frozen” (commonly referred to as “snowflake babies”) and then, after a time, if not used, are disposed of.
We have a medical doctor friend who is also a biological ethicist, who a number of years ago recommended that if IVF is to continue, then at a minimum, a law should be passed that limits to three the number of embryos that are created for a single IVF attempt. All three would then be required to be implanted, which means none would need to be “frozen.”
Approximately 12 percent of married couples suffer from infertility or struggle to sustain a pregnancy, which creates deep emotional, physical, and financial stress. These couples deserve care, support, and compassion as they deal with the immense pain associated with the unfulfilled longing for a child, and a healthy society must encourage couples to have children through legislation that supports parenthood.
However, the desires of adults must never take precedent over the rights of children.
“We live in a broken world, which means the ideal is not always possible. Adoption is a beautiful example of how we can make the best of situations that are already broken. Still, making the best of difficult circumstances is very different than creating difficult circumstances on purpose, which is exactly what Rep. Schiff’s Equal Access to Reproductive Care Act would do,” concludes Backholm.
We agree. The Equal Access to Reproductive Care Act submits the rights of children to the desires of adults—even if well-intentioned—and we dare not make this the basis of policymaking.