Friday Legal Updates™ – Abortion Foes & Egg Donation, NJ Gay Bill, & Prop 8, Marriage & Infertility

First, let’s start out with a moment of silence for all of the people of Haiti. Please make donations via www.whitehouse.gov.

TGIF! Now, let’s start out with our updates:

1.New York – Abortion foes are challenging the payment of $10K to egg donors for use in research by the NY Stem Cell Board. Interestingly enough, no donor has donated through this program. The Board argues that the case lacks merit; however, the group believes that the offer of money for the donation of eggs exploits women. What do you think? The Board also argues as follows:

“There is no principled reason to distinguish between donation of oocytes for reproductive purposes and research purposes when determining the ethicality of reimbursement,” the board wrote. “The risks associated with donating oocytes to stem cell research are no greater than those associated with reproductive donations. Moreover, donating oocytes to stem cell research arguably confers a greater benefit to society than does oocyte donation for private reproductive use.”
The group, Rochester-based Feminists Choosing Life New York State, on the other hand think that
“It’s going to entice young, economically vulnerable women — single mothers, college students with loans, unemployed women, immigrants.”

http://www.timesunion.com/ASPStories/Story.asp?storyID=853072&newsdate=1/2/2010&BCCode=MBTA

2. New Jersey – The State Senate has defeated a bill to legalize gay marriage in the state. The vote was 20-14, and the new governor threatened to veto regardless. At least New Jersey does offer civil unions for gay couples. But, is that enough?

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/01/07/new-jersey-gay-marriage/

3. California – Should Infertility Be a Valid Reason for Marriage License Denial? In the defense of Prop 8 by their lead counsel, Charles Cooper, they have argued as follows:
The AFP reports Charles Cooper, an attorney for Proposition 8’s campaign committee, Protect Marriage, has said during the trial “the purpose of the institution of marriage, the central purpose, is to promote procreation and to channel naturally procreative sexual activity between men and women in stable enduring unions.”

However, opponents of Prop 8 have a novel argument of their own:

Congratulations Mr. Cooper, in the name of all that is holy, you’ve just stated the case for denying infertile men or women a marriage license. Looks like it’s time to shut down the uber Christian Snowflakes embryo adoption project.

Largely backed by evangelical Christianity, the California court case stands to have a marked impact on the fate of civil unions and gay marriage across the country. It’s already been made clear by Project Marriage supporters that they’re out to deny a portion of the citizenry their civil rights.

But sweeping statements like those above prove why this is a fight for more than the homosexual population. The CDC estimates more than seven million American women (between the ages of fifteen and forty-four) have fertility issues. That’s nearly twelve percent of the female population of childbearing age.

Currently, seven and a half percent of married women in that age range are infertile. And that’s just the women – studies posit forty percent of infertility issues in couples are from the male.

Ultimately, if they are going to use the inability to procreate as a reason gay marriage can’t be legalized, shouldn’t it apply to heterosexual couples? This article addresses this argument quite nicely. Well done.

http://blogs.babble.com/strollerderby/2010/01/13/should-infertility-be-reason-for-marriage-license-denial/

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