The following comes from a June 5 email from Bill May of Catholics for the Common Good.
California Bill AB460, which would prohibit insurance companies from denying infertility coverage to lesbians and the elderly, has passed the State Assembly and has just been scheduled to be heard by the State Senate Health Committee on June 12, 2013….
Rather than focusing on whether lesbians and the elderly should have insurance coverage for “artificial reproductive technology” (using donated sperm and/or eggs), we are using the opportunity to oppose the bill because it expands an already unjust practice – creating children with the intention of depriving them of a fundamental human right to know and be cared for by their mother and father.
When I testified before the Assembly Health Committee on this bill, I looked the committee members in the eye and asked who has a right to deprive a child in that way? “Who has a right to another person? Does anyone have a right to you?”
There was noticeable discomfort from a committee that typically just ignores our testimony. Even though they had the votes to pass the bill, a majority of the Democrats on the committee felt compelled to defend their position and speak in support of the bill with claims about lesbians’ rights to have children. One member, Wesley Chesbro, sought to make this practice analogous to adoption, an absurd claim, and said having a child with a sperm donor was actually an “act of love” because of the difficulty and expense. Unfortunately, the Republicans on the committee remained silent.
What about the child? I told the committee that sperm donor children are coming of age and are starting to speak out about confusion over their identity, feelings of abandonment, and the recognition they have been treated as commodities. At the request of Alana Newman, a sperm donor child, and founder of Anonymousus.org, I submitted her compelling testimony as a representative of tens of thousands of children experiencing similar feeling after having had their rights violated.
Members of the legislature have never heard these kinds of arguments before. Most are used to thinking about marriage and family from the position of the adults. Arguments from the perspective of the child are much more difficult to ignore…. Can I count on you?
- Write to your state senator immediately. If you live in the district of one of the Committee on Health members listed below, it is all the more important to ask them to vote no on AB 460. Ask them to not expand the practice of creating children with sperm and/ or egg donors, which intentionally deprives them of the right to know and be cared for by their mother or father or both. See the list of committee members below.
- If you possibly can, come to the hearing in Sacramento on Wednesday, June 12. We need to pack the hearing room to let the committee members and the media know that you care. After I testify, every person attending will be able to state their name, where they are from and their opposition to the bill. We need your support. The hearing will be at 1:30PM, in Room 4203 of the State Capitol Building.
Please pray for that enough people respond to this email and forward it to friends so that we can have a real impact at the hearing on June 12. Please pray that Senators’ consciences will be moved by the injustice of creating children through sperm or egg donation and momentum builds for ending this practice.
For the Common Good,
President, Catholics for the Common Good
415 651 4171
415 738 0421 (Fax)
Senate Committee on Health