The recent news of the “Scottsboro boys” being posthumously pardoned is more symbolic and should be celebrated because we as a society are accepting our “wrongs” even if too late. It takes great courage. Although the wrongful convictions will not get their lives back or what could have been of being able to have a family, a child, respect and dignity and above all being allowed to LIVE as a HUMAN BEING. The question to answer just like Alabama did by pardoning the last of “Scottsboro boys” even if posthumously is to be on the “right side of history“. Much like in the case of “Scottsboro boys”, the prevailing false stereotypes ingrained in people and the system that failed them, most people do not realize the mistake until it happens to “them”. Fertility affects about 15% of the population, so we are faced with similar false stereotypes and are held hostage until change arrives.
Is history repeating itself in wrongfully abusing others? That was 1933 and now it is 2013. The spirit in which this is written is looking forward, what will be the state of fertility rights in 2084? It is a fact that an infertile human being cannot bring a child born outside the US legally to the US because US laws requires a “biological link” as established by DNA (only sperm and egg counts, carrying a child in your womb does not count) between parent-child. Sadly due to the infertility, they cannot have a “biological child”. Then how does a person who is infertile or intersex or gay or lesbian or straight who cannot have a “biological link” to the child supposed to have a child legally? The right answer is change the laws and not break the laws and we need fertility rights. While the “Scottsboro boys” did not get justice while alive, they have been credited with great strides in the civil rights movement. For example, inclusion of African Americans on juries and adequate legal representation for fair justice and due process.
In a case of immigrant, IVF parent, spouse caregiver of intersex, was a similar person allowed to be on the “jury”, was adequate legal representation provided to ensure due process and fair justice? Or was the truth suppressed to fit the need of the hour? Does the “average” person understand the life of an immigrant, IVF parent and a spouse caregiver of intersex and the related secrecy, lies and lack of laws and its effects? The secrecy and shame are the biggest culprits. The rights of an innocent child are tightly coupled with the rights of a parent. Is it wrong for an IVF, immigrant father to want children? Or should he be forced and ALSO by association his IVF children be forced to live secretly and become invisible like the “Scottsboro boys”? The link between racism and reproductive rights is to deny the truth and thereby the rights of innocents and making them “legally invisible” only furthering the crimes of continued secrecy, lies and false allegations.
In our zeal to provide a child to an infertile adult, have we forgotten about the rights of an innocent, voiceless IVF child? We have defamation, false allegations, rampant breaking of the laws, abuse and victimization of innocents, intimidation, secrecy, lies and WORST, denial of basic human dignity and respect of innocent IVF children. Welcome to 2004 – lack of fertility rights and waiting for justice…
- It is a fact that an intersex marriage is illegal – so change the laws but do not break the laws and victimize unsuspecting human beings.
- It is a fact that intersex person is infertile and cannot have a biological child legally – so change the laws but do not falsely accuse others and victimize innocent children and break the laws. As per CDC, 1 in 6 couples is infertile – how is the “couple” defined – only heterosexual couples? Are LGBTI, single parents included in this “statistic”? Do they deserve fertility rights as human beings?
- It is a fact that intersex person cannot immigrate based on “marriage” – so change the laws like Edie Windsor did by helping strike down DOMA but do not break the laws and victimize others.
- It is a fact that caregivers have no rights and further caregivers of LGBTI have no rights at all until recently because they have to live “invisibly and secretly” – so change the laws. There are 65.7 Million family caregivers in the US – are LGBTI caregivers included in this “statistic”?
If a caregiver claims they lost their career, social life, their children, financial resources, etc. because of family caregiving duties – it is OK to glaze over. But if a paid caregiver slips on the floor, they can file for worker’s compensation. How is that equal and fair? As a society we need to encourage family caregivers because it can do wonders for patients but we also need to protect the rights of the caregivers. Or do we want a society where everything is “legal” including the family caregiving relationship?
Somehow discriminating innocent people in the name of “best interest of the child” has become the norm. We look forward to the day when every person is first seen as a HUMAN BEING and then a male or female or intersex or straight or gay or lesbian or black or Asian or white or Hindu or Christian or Muslim and the endless segregation and segmentation we bring in our society to justify “human rights”. The basic human right we need is to recognize every person first as a HUMAN BEING – then everything else.
Our heart goes out to the “Scottsboro boys” in what could have been – the years lost, the lives torn, the wrongful defamation, the loss of basic respect and dignity, the loss of family, the loss of listening to crackling laughter of a child, the loss of lifting your child up in the air, the loss of a child kissing their loving parent, the loss of playing and reading with your child, the loss of seeing your child having a better world than you did, and on and on. The BIGGEST loss is despite the false allegations, false convictions, and loss of several human rights, the innocent had NO shot at justice or to be heard FAIRLY. That breaks a HUMAN BEING down like nothing else can. We salute them for their courage, strength and beliefs forever.
Infertility is very traumatic but does that justify placing innocent, voiceless IVF children in legal limbo? How can you ensure “legal rights” to a person who has “no legal identity”? In many ways, the IVF children and families are invisible like the “Scottsboro boys” – deprived and made invisible.