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इंडियन आवाज़     17 Apr 2024 12:57:49      انڈین آواز

America is torn apart by another landmark judgement, Embryos Are Kids?

(Last Updated On: 25/02/2024)
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From TN Ashok

New York, Feb 23: The United States has been plunged into another controversial debate after abortion rights were abrogated by the Supreme Court in 2022, this time by the Alabama court that has ruled frozen embryos should be treated as kids. Various associations including that of atheists are eviscerating the judgement. IVF clinics are closing down due to fear of persecution by the law. 

In Invitrio Fertilization (IVF), that facilitates infertile couples from having babies through the natural process of insemination, when eggs are taken from the ovaries of the women and fertilized with sperms harvested from the males, outside the woman’s womb and frozen. 

To ensure the surgical practice is successful, the doctor specialists takes more than a dozen eggs and fertilise them and implant up to four fertilised eggs in the womb so that at least one can lead to a child. The remaining embryos either lie in the freezer or later destroyed by the clinics when the couple have a baby.

Following an appeal from the claimants in LePage v. Mobile Infirmary Clinic argued their “embryonic children” were victims of wrongful deaths after their accidental destruction . Last week, Alabama’s highest court not only ruled in their favor but also expanded the definition of “children” to include cryopreserved, fertilized eggs. 

And this has led to fear and panic among IVF clinics which are closing down due to fear of persecution thus making access to artificial insemination very difficult for childless couples, media reports said.

That’s right: Despite containing as few as two cells, these pre-Alabamans will now unconsciously enjoy all the same rights, legal status, and privileges as actual Alabamans, media reports said.

The majority opinion, penned by Justice Jay Mitchell, includes new, nightmarish terms like “cryogenic nursery” and “extrauterine children.” He promptly declares that “all parties to these cases, like all members of this Court” agree that an unborn child’s life begins at fertilization. “This,” he claims, “is true, as everyone acknowledges.” And this has stirred up an unholy debate and a controversy. Even dragging theologians into a debate over the immaculate conception being decried.

Of course, Mitchell’s uncontested fact is pure fiction, Newsweek said in a report this week. It was quoting Melina Cohens, Communications Director, of American Atheists Association. Atheists are disbelievers in the concept of God. .

There is no consensus about personhood among either biologists or theologians. Many scientists think personhood is a biologically baseless social construction. Others believe the emphasis on fertilization disregards what we know about gene plasticity and environmental factors as well as what we don’t yet know about consciousness, the leading US publication said while dissecting the controversy around treating fertilised eggs frozen in labs as children.

Religious teachings are an equally grey area: Jewish law allows for abortion, and most Jews believe personhood begins after birth. Some Christian denominations are explicitly pro-choice, while others remain ambivalent. And even when the official doctrine is clear, we know adherents aren’t as united. 

For instance, one in four Americans who have had abortions are Catholic, media reports used his fellow justices’ own words to argue the court was overstepping its judicial authority and had arrived at a fallacious conclusion by “plugging a string of words into a dictionary and running with the first result.”

Of course, in post-truth America, none of this matters. The anti-abortion agenda has never been about democracy, family values, facts, or even faith. It’s a manufactured, misogynistic mythos. And from the moment of its conception, it’s been about consolidating political power; codifying a radical religious view into state and federal law; and compelling the rest of us to comply, a columnist in Newsweek wrote. 

In case there was any doubt, Chief Justice Tom Parker sat down with QAnon conspiracy theorist and self-proclaimed Seven Mountain Mandate (7M) prophet Johnny Enlow in an interview released the same day as the LePage ruling. The judge outed himself as a fellow 7M acolyte, saying: “God created government… It’s heartbreaking we have let it go into the possession of others… We’ve abandoned those Seven Mountains, and they’ve been occupied by the opposite side.”

If embryos are not to be destoryed and preserved, it could lead to an unhealth practise of planting the fertilised eggs onto 3rd party parents who carry the child from the original donors, and the law is ambiguous over this practise, said to be occuring already. 

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