Unbearable: Personhood Amendments Gain Traction And Continue To Threaten IVF

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Having a child is usually a happy time in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, as we wait longer to have children, infertility and trouble conceiving can become a part of the family making process. Unbearable addresses these difficulties.

This November, after a huge national media spotlight was put on Personhood Amendments, the controversial law was voted down in Mississippi. But that hasn’t stopped the movement from trying its luck in other states in the year to come.

Last night, the Colorado Secretary or State’s Title Board approved the language for a Personhood Amendment to be added to their November ballot. If right-to-life groups can collect enough signatures, the Rocky Mountain State will vote on this measure on November 6th. “In order to affirm basic human dignity, be it resolved that the right to life in this constitution applies equally to all innocent persons.” The amendment defines “person” as applying “to every human being regardless of the method of creation” and “human being” as “a member of the species homo sapiens at any stage of development.”

And Colorado isn’t the only state on it’s way to asking voters if life truly begins at conception. Arkansas and Ohio have both seen paperwork filed by Personhood groups with similar language to that used in Colorado. In fact, the movement has even gained some Republican Presidential nominee support. Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum and recent-front-runner Newt Gingrich have all signed a pledge to support personhood at conception, should they make it to the White House.

However, one state refuses to allow Personhood be defined as an abortion battle. After all, giving legal rights to each and every embryo would make in vitro fertilization virtually impossible for most women. It would also make several common forms of birth control illegal, such as IUDs. This is not just an anti-abortion measure. And Nevada Judge James E. Wilson is making sure that his constituents realize what they are signing up for. Judge Wilson inserted language into his state’s ballot initiative that would clarify the possible outcomes from Personhood bills. His addendum to the language proposed by the Nevada Prolife Coalition is this:

“The initiative would protect a prenatal person regardless of whether or not the prenatal person would live, grow, or develop in the womb or survive birth; prevent all abortions even in the case of rape, incest, or serious threats to the woman’s health or life, or when a woman is suffering from a miscarriage, or as an emergency treatment for an ectopic pregnancy.

The initiative will impact some rights Nevada women currently have to access certain fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization. The initiative will impact some rights Nevada women currently have to utilize some forms of birth control, including the “pill;” and to access certain fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization. The initiative will affect embryonic stem cell research, which offers potential for treating diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, and others.”

No matter what your view on abortion is, supporters of fertility treatments and IVF should all be worried about bills such as these. While trying to protect embryos, they also make it increasingly difficult for those who are actually trying to have children of their own! Go figure. And to round out all that reproductive health intrusion, these amendments limit a woman’s options for birth control. It’s nice to see that one Judge is trying to make the full weight of these bills known to the public, but there’s obviously a lot of work to be done to protect the IVF and the women who depend on it to grow their family.


  1. WMDKitty

    December 29, 2011 at 1:45 am

    IVF is selfish. Adoption is ethically correct, because instead of creating yet another child, you’re giving a home and a family to one that is already here.

  2. LaLeidi

    January 5, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Why are the unwanted children of irresponsible people the moral responsibility of couples with fertility challenges? No one ever posts “just adopt” on articles about fertile, heterosexual couples having babies.

    Besides, I don’t think that anyone who knew how difficult and expensive adoption is would ever suggest it is a solution to fertility problems.

    • WMDKitty

      January 5, 2012 at 5:08 pm

      I AM adopted, I have an insider’s view. Adoption is NOT “difficult” or “expensive”.

      It’s better to provide a family and home for an already-born child than to bring yet another mouth into this over-populated world.

    • LaLeidi

      January 5, 2012 at 5:53 pm

      First of all, assuming you are not a small child, the adoption situation has changed a great deal since you were born. And obviously your perspective as a child would be very different than a parents’ perspective.

      If you have some information about how to adopt a child easily and without significant cost, I know a lot of people who would be interested in knowing how this is possible. Private adoption is more expensive than IVF. The only affordable option is through the foster system. To suggest that just anyone is emotionally equipped to deal with the challenges of adopting through the foster system is ridiculous. Of course, it is almost impossible to adopt a healthy baby. I don’t see anything wrong with wanting to raise a child from birth, or to hope for a child that has a chance at having a healthy life, or to have a family that is biologically related, for that matter. Probably the worst part it that it takes quite a while for parental rights to be terminated and for the adoption to be completed. At any point before that happens, the child can be taken away from you, never to be seen again. Kudos to those who manage it, but parenting a child who may be taken away is not something I personally could handle.

      It is laughable to suggest that infertile people are the cause of the world’s overpopulation. People who do IVF are lucky if they have one or two children and are not contributing to a net increase in global population. The problem is people who don’t have access to or refuse to use birth control.

      I find it bizarre that on every single article on the internet that mentions IVF, someone brings up adoption in the comments. Adoption is no more relevant to this topic than to any other article on this parenting website. If you really believe that it’s wrong to reproduce, go tell it to fertile couples instead of blaming people who already have enough problems.

    • WMDKitty

      January 5, 2012 at 11:06 pm

      Unwanted. Maybe if you breeders weren’t so hung up on having “your very own home-brewed genetically-similar” child, more of these kids would have homes.

      Adoption is, clearly, the more moral choice. IVF is nothing more than selfish asshats who “need” a baby with their genes.

      Family is about LOVE. If you can’t love a child that isn’t genetically related to you, you don’t deserve to have children at all.

      Adopt or GTFO.

    • LaLeidi

      January 6, 2012 at 12:45 am

      You are quite the poster child for adoption, aren’t you?

      I really have to question Mommyish’s decision to promote its website at STFUParents. I usually find that site amusing, but some of the posters are ignorant, hateful people, and encouraging them to come here and spew insults and the intended audience of this website is not a good way to build a readership.

    • Lindsay Cross

      January 6, 2012 at 1:04 pm

      @LaLeidi First of all, I would like to apologize that you’ve felt attacked and insulted in our comment boards. While we at Mommyish try to steer clear of censoring, because everyone is entitled to their own opinion, we definitely want you to feel encouraged to join in the conversation. And I have to say that I really appreciate all your input and contributions to the Unbearable columns.

      As for our association with STFU Parents, I just wanted to take a quick minute to say that we at Mommyish enjoy laughing at the more ridiculous aspects of parenthood. The author of STFU Parents does not hate or scorn moms, she’s really taking a light-hearted and fun look at some of the crazy things parents do. And I think it’s important for us all to laugh at ourselves a bit. The objective isn’t to make parents feel bad at all.

      @WMDKitty I’m sure you realize that the term “breeder” is offensive. You’re obviously trying to be confrontational and rude. I agree that adoption is a wonderful choice. But no one has the right to say that one path is better or more moral than other. Every person has the right to choose how they grow their family. The Unberable series of posts are all about struggling with infertility and the choices that couples can make. Or sometimes, it’s just about my own personal journey. Either way, if you think all people who don’t choose adoption are horrible, than these columns probably aren’t for you.

    • WMDKitty

      January 6, 2012 at 4:31 pm

      @Lindsay Cross — I didn’t “attack” or “insult” her. I pointed out that it is SELFISH AND CRUEL to deny a child a forever home just because you don’t share genetic material.

      Again, a family is forged out of LOVE. Not from genetics or blood relations. LOVE.

      This strange insistence that it’s only “your” child if you’ve pushed it out your loins is fucking ridiculous. So is LaLeidi’s defensiveness. If she feels insulted, maybe she should take a good long look at herself and figure out why she’s so thin-skinned. She needs to GET THE FUCK OVER IT.

    • Lindsay Cross

      January 6, 2012 at 4:45 pm

      @WMDKitty Please refrain from cursing in the comments. It’s inappropriate and I don’t appreciate it. From now on, I’ll be deleting any of your comments on my pieces that include cuss words. Thank you.

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  4. Teresa

    February 7, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Just FYI, anyone considering IVF: check out NaPro technology first, it could save you heartache and expense, and tough ethical choices. I’ve had several friends over 30, even over 40, successfully achieve pregnancy using NaPro, when they’d just been shuffled off to IVF clinics by their doctors. One friend took her NFP charts in to the Na Pro practitioner (a nurse practitioner) and after just a few minutes, the NP said, “you need vitamin B6.” She was pregnant very shortly after that (within two months I think) and has since had another child.

    NaPro (Natural Reproductive Technology) seeks to identify the problem, not just get you in to some very expensive solution. It helps solve the underlying problem with your system and helps get your body into a condition to achieve and sustain pregnancy. $10 for a bottle of B6, or tens of thousands for IVF? Whose got your best interest at heart? It’s all about the money…

    It seems that in many of these problems of ethics, there’s usually a better way out. Educate yourselves, ladies.

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