The Parthenon

Canadian lawmakers propose in vitro legislation that may overstep bounds into women’s sex lives

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The legislation would not have the force of law, but would obligate women to sign the waiver in the doctor’s office.

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According to the Canadian Press, Quebec lawmakers have proposed legislation to require women to sign a waiver stating they have been sexually active for an extensive period before being administered in vitro fertilization.

The idea behind the proposed legislation is to allow for the opportunity for natural conception to occur and reduce the need for in vitro procedures.

The legislation would not have the force of law, but would obligate women to sign the waiver in the doctor’s office.

This proposition begs the question, what exactly is adequate sexual activity? According to the proposition, it is one to three years of frequent sexual activity depending on age. The term “frequent” is not clearly defined, which means it could mean anywhere from weekly to monthly.

What the legislation doesn’t account for are those women who choose to have a child without a father. Sure, single women could have lots of sex, but they would (hopefully) be using protection to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and thus pregnancy.

What of the women who are not sexually active but wish to become mothers? Would they be denied in vitro treatments?

It is one thing for a doctor to ask ‘Are you sexually active?’ and another to ask about frequency. It is also questionable practice to potentially deny a patient in vitro fertilization based on lack of sexual activity.”

Also, there is no way a lesbian couple could have children without in vitro fertilization. They can be sexually active for a good long while and no pregnancy would ever come of it.

The proposed legislation would even hurt heterosexual couples where either partner is deemed infertile or incapable of carrying children. Women would still have to prove their sexual activity even if they have known about their infertility for awhile.

This proposed legislation is a blatant invasion of a woman’s privacy and is non-inclusive and discriminatory to single and queer women. It is one thing for a doctor to ask “Are you sexually active?” and another to ask about frequency. It is also questionable practice to potentially deny a patient in vitro fertilization based on lack of sexual activity, especially when sexual activity has very little to do with how the effectiveness of the procedure or how it is performed.

With the very conservative trend in governing women’s bodies in the United States, one can only hope the dominantly white-male Republican legislatures across the nation do not adopt this concept.

Science has made it possible for women to have the choice of motherhood with or without the presence of a father, and it should stay that way.

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