Assisted Pregnancy

I suspect everyone has different views on assisted pregnancy and what should be allowed and what shouldn’t. In Sweden it’s currently legal to provide insemination to people who are married or in a registered partnership, but not to singles. A proposition has been made to change the law to allow for singles to be inseminated as well.

I was reading a debate on a Swedish newssite about it, and there was a lot of hatred against the suggestion. First of all, I feel that I should clarify that this still happens – single, Swedish women currently get inseminated if they wish to have a baby without being in a relationship, they just have to go elsewhere to do it. I hear some go to Poland, but I think the most common place is Denmark, because there’s a clinic in Copenhagen dedicated to only this.

The only difference the change in the law would bring would be that they no longer had to travel abroad. Commenters on the article made it sound like we would suddenly have a stampede of women running to get inseminated, which I can only think of as utter bullshit. The women who really want a baby already do it (just in Denmark), we’re not suddenly going to have thousands more. If they want one badly enough to go through all of it alone – then whether it’s in Sweden or Denmark really makes no difference.

I wanted to discuss some of the comments made by people on the article. Because they’re logic – to me – sounds incredibly faulty.

But, these women shouldn’t have kids anyway because they’re obviously not able to form an emotional connection with another human being. Else why would they be single???

I can’t help but feel that this is a very short sighted comment. Most people (women and men) want to find someone who feels right. They don’t want to settle for just anyone. I can fully understand if someone suddenly is 40 years old, haven’t found their significant other and still really wants a baby. Some people would settle for a partner that’s not quite what they want, and others might choose to have that baby on their own.

OMG don’t these women want to have sex or what??

Yes, I actually saw several comments like this. Really, people? Again, I’m sure it’s not about the physical bit, these women aren’t repulsed by men. They just haven’t found someone they want to spend the rest of their lives with. Not everyone is so lucky.

Can’t they just go pick a man up in a bar and not use protection?

Half the time this comment was tied into the “don’t they like sex”, but even so it’s so stupid I don’t know where to start. Seriously? On what level is it more okay to trick some unsuspecting, drunk man into getting you pregnant than to get inseminated? What kind of life is that for a kid, a dad who never wanted them in the first place?

But, what about single men? The law doesn’t speficy gender, but it’s obviously only going to work for women. Men should get surrogates!

First of all, surrogates is a completely different debate (and something the government is actually looking into) since it uses someone else’s body for 9 months rather than your own. There are a lot of other issues with surrogates, but it’s not what I’m writing about today. In short, you can’t have an argument that basically is; “if we can’t have babies then you can’t have babies!”

A family has to have a mom and a dad!

Not true. There have actually been some research that shows that what is important to a child is that they grow up in a loving and safe environment. Not so much if you have one, two or five parents. Also, the comment of course quickly dismisses gay couples as well.

I don’t know if I would ever do it myself, but I do think this is a good change to the law. Especially considering that these women do it anyway. It seems unreasonable to make them travel to another country when we know that they do. We should just allow it here, in Sweden.

I don’t think anyone (including the women who do this) is trying to shut men out of the family constellation. Sometimes you’re just unlucky and haven’t found “the one”, and one day you may be old enough that you have to choose. Have a baby now alone or never have one.

Regarding the comments about not forming emotional ties, it’s just so wrong. I can fully understand not finding someone you want to spend the rest of your life with. It’s not an easy task. Sometimes there are other limitations. For example, I live in a small village of about 5500 people. Now imagine how many of those are men, how many of those are my age and how many are single? I’d say not many. Then you need to actually have something in common/be compatible somehow. No wonder I’m single!


Assisted Pregnancy — 7 Comments

  1. (I typed my email password where website should go initially. Oops!)

    That’s so crazy, what people say. My mom was a single mother, and I can say with total honesty that she did a pretty darn good job on us kids (all five of us, three with one dad, two with another, and both dads are completely unreliable).

    I think the one about picking a guy up at a bar is the worst of the bunch, though. Do people not worry about STDs? I mean, pregnancy isn’t worth a nice case of herpes, which is a really common thing to catch, or HPV, which is called “the common cold of STDs.”

    I think if a woman wants to be a mother, then she should have the right to get pregnant without risking a nice raging case of herpes, myself.

    Although the one about how if men can’t have babies alone, women shouldn’t be able to is the most ridiculous (not the worst, the silliest). Look up what pregnancy can do to a body, dude, and then see if you would personally want to go through that, add a little empathy and realize no one owes that sort of experience to anyone else!

    • Oh, good point! I forgot about the STDs. I thought about it when I originally read the article, but forgot about it when writing the post. So you have the risk of STDs, an unwilling father and the fact you have no idea what kind of person this is.. oh yeah, totally sounds like a better option!

      The surrogate comment is just ignorant. Sure, it’s a shame that single men can’t be fathers on their own, but it’s basic biology. Comparing surrogacy to insemination isn’t even in the same ballpark. But some people are really snowed in on the whole “they can’t have it if we can’t!”.

      I think my reservation against it on a personal level (as in why I’d be cautious about doing it myself) is the worry about there not being a dad at all really. Not even a deadbeat one. It does beg the question at times. Which is better, no dad or a bad one?

      I also have this horrible image in my mind of the child having half brothers and sisters they don’t know about. And meeting one and falling in love *lol* (Yes, obviously been watching too many bad soap operas!)

      • Eww, how awful would that ending be? But I suppose it’s technically possible. Eww, I never thought of that.

        I’d say no dad is better than a dad who’s abusive/neglectful of his kids and/or wife, because the emotional scars from watching or seeing or being beaten are pretty real and huge.

  2. Wow – those are some extraordinarily negative comments πŸ™

    I guess assisted fertility (along with surrogacy) will always be a hot topic politically, when you’re taslking about who ‘should’ and ‘shouldn’t’ be ‘allowed’ state-funded access to it. In England I think a lot of it depends on where you live (I know, right – that’s logical) and I won’t pretend to know the exact rules because lalalalala even if I don’t get pregnant, Himself and I have agreed that it’s not a route we’re planning to go down – purely for the reason that I’ve seen relationships hit the rocks because of OMG the pressure, the non-stop pressure, and from my PoV, because, many injections and interventions and just no *breathes* What I do know is that basically, if you can afford to have it done privately (i.e. you pay for it) I think it doesn’t matter what your relationship status, or sexuality is.

    I’m not convinced by the ‘children need a mother and a father’ argument. I accept that it’s the ‘ideal’, to have two parents who are in an emotionally healthy relationship bringing up their children, but I genuinely believe that one parent, who is committed and happy, is better than a couple who are in a deeply unhappy/dysfunctional relationship. My girls are both, if I say so myself, pretty darn ok, despite being raised primarily by me, as a single mum. They’ve been very lucky, sure, in that their father and I have managed to be civil and they’ve always seen a lot of him, but I hate to think how screwed up they’d be if he and I were still together and making each other miserable – thank Gods for divorce…!

    And telling single women that they should just go to a bar and hook up…? Really!? I’m with Tania on this.

    • I admittedly don’t know if it is state funded or not, even if the practice already exists for couples. There are two versions of course; IVF and just the basic insemination. I know IVF in most parts of the country is virtually free up to a certain number of times. I’m not sure if the new law includes IVF though or just insemination. I guess we’ll find out once it comes.

      The clinic in Denmark that single women currently go to is a private one and I know they pay for it out of their own pocket. I always assumed the same would be true for Sweden, if the law passes – but I don’t know this for certain. It does make sense to me though to have it be something you pay for yourself, like elective surgery.

      I believe that given a choice everyone would prefer to be two in having a baby. After all, those first years – and definitely the first few months aren’t easy. Being alone and dealing with all of that must take quite a bit of energy, so I doubt it’s a decision easily made for any single woman. (Because a lot of the comments of course made it sound like we’d have a stampede of single women running for the clinics if the law passed, all too happy to cut men out of the picture.)

  3. Your post reminded me of a similar but different situation from one of the states called “Gujarat” in my country. Over there Liquor is banned and one needs to have a permit to drink which is hard to obtain. the result of this control measure is that people go for liquor sold on the grey market which is often brewed illegally and is very harmful and has caused many lives.

    So control is not the way to go. If a country thinks that certain activity should not be permitted then they should educate people and not force it.

    Being a single mom doesn’t seem like a wrong thing. But I think this kind of thinking (of not to allow single moms) is rooted in religion.

    Although I’m not against Assisted Pregnancy, I always prefer the natural path πŸ™‚

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