California bill redefines ‘infertility’… with disturbing implications for children’s rights

A new California bill aims to change the definition of “infertility” from a medical condition to a status — and would reportedly force insurance companies to cover in-vitro fertilization and surrogacy for gay men.

According to The Post Millennial, if Senate Bill 729 becomes law, the definition of infertility would be changed to “a person’s inability to reproduce either as an individual or with their partner without medical intervention.” This redefining of what it means to be “infertile” would allow gay men who are actually fertile to be classified as infertile because they cannot biologically, naturally reproduce with another man.

“This bill is crucial to achieving full-lived equality for LGBTQ+ people, as well as advancing well-rounded and comprehensive health care for all Californians,” said co-author of the bill, Sen. Caroline Menjivar (D).

Bill details

The bill states that insurance may not exclude or deny coverage “of any fertility services based on a covered individual’s participation in fertility services provided by or to a third party. For purposes of this section, ‘third party’ includes an oocyte, sperm, or embryo donor, gestational carrier, or surrogate that enables an intended recipient to become a parent.”

Some see the bill as a way to force insurance companies to fund third-party reproduction so that gay men can have guaranteed access to women’s bodies and children can be further commodified as products to be purchased rather than gifts that are bestowed.

Emma Waters with the Heritage Foundation explained, “Under this bill, most insurance plans would be required to provide in vitro fertilization services based on someone’s relationship status or sexual orientation. For single men or male same-sex couples, this means they would need to access a surrogate to carry their child. So the bill is outlining what adults have the right to, but nowhere does it address the needs of the child or safety concerns regarding the child either in IVF or in gestational surrogacy.” (emphasis added)

The group Men Having Babies supports the bill, stating that it will “remove financial barriers” to surrogacy — renting women’s wombs and buying women’s eggs. However, businesses and insurance groups are opposing the bill, stating that it will cause a significant increase in insurance premiums — as much as $330 million a year, said The Washington Free Beacon.

Some are calling this latest bill the real-life version of “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Writer Libby Emmons tweeted, “Gay men have a RIGHT to women’s bodies & we must ensure they can rent & impregnate women whenever they choose! Puts The Handmaid’s Tale in a whole new light.”

The commodification of women

Surrogacy allows for the commodification of women — and this was on clear display in the situation of Lance Bass and his partner Michael Turchin, who went through the surrogacy process at least 10 times, along the way treating the surrogates they used as inconsequential. For the men, it was as if the female surrogate or the egg donor didn’t exist unless the men were complaining about the women’s bodies.

“Some just wouldn’t produce enough eggs, some weren’t good genetic matches,” said Turchin. “… Not only did we need to get a new egg donor now because we found out she had early lupus, but on top of that, when we did our egg retrieval, we only had two healthy embryos. Normally, the number’s much higher. So we put both in and once she miscarried, we had to start all over from scratch again this past year.”

Bass said, “There were definitely times where we went to so many different donors, and you start questioning the universe, like, ‘Am I being told that I should not have kids?’ But you keep going forward, and the universe gives you what you need when you need it.”

But as Live Action News author Cassy Fiano-Chesser previously pointed out, “The universe did not ‘give’ Bass what he needed; Bass and Turchin repeatedly, continually, forced children to be created in a lab, and then implanted into a woman’s uterus, over and over again until the process was finally successful.”

The commodification of children

Katie Breckenridge of the children’s rights advocacy organization Them Before Us explained, “When you are commissioning and swiping your credit card for a product, even one that you want badly, you are participating in commodification… In this case, the products are human beings.”

After the baby is born via surrogacy, she is usually taken from the only mother she will ever know — a known trauma for children. Studies have proven that being separated from her at birth is a “major physiologic stressor” for a baby, which can permanently alter the child’s brain and leave her susceptible to depression, abandonment issues, and emotional problems related to attachment, bonding, and self-esteem. This may have been the experience of the children Bass paid to create.

“The first year, [the children] wouldn’t give me any love,” Bass complained. “They never hugged, they never wanted to snuggle, and I was so upset about it. Because they would do that with my mom. My mom would come over and boom, they’d snuggle with her. But now it’s official — they’ve become loving kids, and I get hugs all day long.”

The idea that these children were somehow not “loving kids” because they exhibited their deep yearning for a mother but did not bond with Bass is abhorrent. It shows that Bass wanted what he paid for — children who adore him.

study out of Harvard Medical School revealed that 62% of children conceived through donor technologies, including surrogacy, believe it to be unethical and immoral.

One woman told Them Before Us, “Somehow, somewhere, my parents developed the idea that they deserved to have a baby, and it didn’t matter how much it cost, how many times it took, or how many died in the process. They deserved a child. And with an attitude like that, by the time I was born they thought they deserved to have the perfect child… as Dad defined a perfect child. And since they deserved a child, I was their property to be controlled, not a person or a gift to be treasured.”

Target petition

One young man who was created through traditional surrogacy said that his birth mother was paid $8,000 to have him and give him away. He explained:

Something horrible happened to us at birth. We lost our mothers. They did not die, but they might as well have been dead because we lost them in the capacity of mother, and to a tiny baby, that feels like death… That makes us feel very rejected. That leaves a hole in our hearts whether we admit to it or it manifests some other way like in depression or a fear of getting close to someone else…

Sometimes it doesn’t show up until we are in our teens or [are] young adults, and like me sometimes it shows up as a baby when I scream my head off for six weeks and they call it colic… Nothing can console us… I wanted my mother and she wasn’t there… You can’t just substitute mothers and expect us to be OK with it.

The children of gay men are denied the presence of any mother at all — their biological mother, their surrogate mother (whose voice, scent, and heartbeat are what they search for at birth), and even an adoptive mother. Children have an inherent right to their mother and their father, and that right is violated when children are purposefully denied this.

The children created under California’s new bill, should it take effect, will be treated as commodities and denied their rights, all to meet the desires of adults who mistakenly believe they have a “right” to another human being.

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