Tuesday, October 04, 2005

*^$^&*(&%$%F%^$ !!!

Just when you thought the Indiana legislature could not get on any higher of a moral high horse. Just when you thought they had pushed their neo-Christian conservative agenda as far as human rights and dignity would allow. Just when you thought religion and government could not get any closer in bed together. They come up with this proposed legislation to be introduced in January.

The legislation would require "intended parents," those who plan to conceive a child by "assisted reproduction" (anything other than intercourse, basically) to file a petition in triplicate with the state. They must prove that they are married to each other. They must provide information regarding the clinic and doctor who will do the "assisting" (so much for the Federal Medical Privacy Act). They must disclose whether they have been convicted of a felony OR a misdemeanor that might indicate potential harm for the child. They must have their petition approved AND be approved by a "licensed child placing agency." Here is the lengthy list of information that will be used by the agency to evaluate the intended parents:

(1) The intended parents' purpose for the assisted reproduction.
(2) The fertility history of the intended parents, including the
pregnancy history and response to pregnancy losses of the woman.
(3) An acknowledgment by the intended parents that the child may
not be the biological child of at least one (1) of the intended parents
depending on the type of artificial reproduction procedure used.
(4) A list of the intended parents' family and friend support system.
(5) A plan for sharing any known genetic information with the child.
(6) Personal information about each intended parent, including the following:
(A) Family of origin.
(B) Values.
(C) Relationships.
(D) Education.
(E) Employment and income.
(F) Hobbies and talents.
(G) Physical description, including the general health of the
(H) Birth verification.
(I) Personality description, including the strengths and
weaknesses of each intended parent.
(7) Description of any children residing in the intended parents' home.
(8) A verification and evaluation of the intended parents' marital
relationship, including:
(A) the shared values and interests between the individuals;
(B) the manner in which conflict between the individuals is
resolved; and
(C) a history of the intended parents' relationship.
(9) Documentation of the dissolution of any prior marriage and an
assessment of the impact of the prior marriage on the intended
parents' relationship.
(10) A description of the family lifestyle of the intended parents,
include a description of individual participation in faith-based or
church activities, hobbies, and other interests.
(11) The intended parents' child rearing expectations and values.
(12) A description of the home and community, including verification
of the safety and security of the home.
(13) Child care plans.
(14) Statement of the assets, liabilities, investments, and ability of the
intended parents to manage finances, including the most recently filed
tax forms.
(15) A review of the local police records, the state and violent offender
directory, and a criminal history check as set forth in subsection (c).
(16) A letter of reference by a friend or family member
(17) A written consent from each donor, if known, to use of the
donation in the assisted reproduction medical procedure.
(18) The recommendation for participation in assisted reproduction.

Then the intended mother may insert sperm into her vagina.

So our Republican Party, the party of small government and individual privacy, cannot keep their despicable hands out of our families, our homes, our relationships, our doctors' offices, our uteruses, and our deepest thoughts.

This goes so far beyond simple discrimination against gays and lesbians. It discriminates against infertile people. It discriminates against intended single mothers. It discriminates against married people with different ideals or religious affiliation than the current administration. It creates an impossible standard of parenthood which nobody could meet, and applies that standard only to those who cannot reproduce in the traditional way. It allows the government to decide which uteruses may have sperm inside them.

So an infertile married couple could be denied a family because they were formerly caught with a dime-bag of weed. Or because they were in debt. Or because they were Jewish or Muslim or Atheist. Or because the "history of their relationship" did not meet expectations. Or because one partner had been previously married. Or because their "child rearing expectations" were nonstandard. For any of these things and more, they can be denied the right to reproduce.

What a disgusting abuse of power that would be.

This legislation will never pass legal muster. The ICLU will descend on the Statehouse faster than Bill Frist on a good stock tip.

But the fact that anyone had the audacity to not only suggest, but introduce this legislation is grounds for defeat in 2006. The conservatives have gone too far in this state. They need to be shown, once and for all, that their way IS NOT the only way.

And on that note, I will now go bash my head against a tree and curse myself for choosing this backward state as my home.

Note: This has also been covered on Masson and Torpor Indy. In fact, I credit Masson with the newsbreak.


Blogger torporific said...

Sometimes, I wonder if this is all one elaborate joke being played on us.

11:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should, in fact, credit Niki Kelly of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette -- she was the first to break this story.

5:04 PM  
Blogger torporific said...

Yeah, she investigated the story while the Indystar slept. I think it took just over 24 hours for that legislation to die after she broke the story.

10:37 AM  
Anonymous liberalwithabrain said...

These are pretty much the same qualification checks that are applied to people seeking to adopt children.
I see no requirement to divulge religious or sexual preference.
I happen to know a family that has adopted twice with NO religious preference or beliefs. I also happen to work with an openly gay woman who successfully adopted and an openly gay father who won custody of his chidren after a divorce.
Besides, I think anyone with a little common sense could see that this legislation would'nt be taken seriously.
To get overly upset about it, rant and rave, and make the kind of untrue accusations that you did, just shows exactly why this country is so deeply divided right now.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Jezebella said...

The part about religion is here:

"A description of the family lifestyle of the intended parents,
include a description of individual participation in faith-based or church activities, hobbies, and other interests."

And the gay/lesbian thing comes in the form of requiring the intended parents to be married in a state that explicitly defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

The standards are similar to adoption standards. However, adopting is very different than seeking medical attention in order to conceive.

I know the legislation will go nowhere. But there is always the possibility that a watered-down version will show up in another bill.

The country is divided, but this is more about my beef with the Indiana Republicans.

11:25 PM  
Blogger Robert Enders said...

The bill would have required prospective parents to be married. I wonder if Elton John would have qualified.

4:00 PM  

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