Friday, May 20, 2005
Another NY Times Op Ed
David Plotz is saying that government concerns about the potential HIV contamination of sperm is not as important as opening up on donor anonymity. It looks like another case of obscuring the government's valid concern as a result of his own concerns. Sure, it's important to reconsider donor anonymity if there's evidence that children born from IVF need to know who their biological fathers are. On the other hand, is David really saying that government concerns about HIV infection are insignificant? We know that the government's concerns are not about genes -- there are no "gay genes" as far as science is concerned. Now HIV contamination, yes, one would expect sympathy for such grave concerns. Just how perfect is HIV screening anyway? AIDS.org reports 99%. My question is this: is the demand for sperm so high that a 1% risk of HIV contamination is worth it? My other concern, of course, is Mr. Plotz characterizing the demand for sperm as a free market business, and of women as customers. In such a paradigm, what does that make of IVF babies? Commodities, no more. This is what the contraceptive generation has come to. Pope Paul VI had warned us, in Humanae Vitae, that there are consequences in sundering "the inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may not break, between the unitive significance and the procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage act." I think there is a trinity in the unitive marriage of man and wife, the procreativity of the marriage act, and the child thus formed. Like a stool with three legs, this trinity is an optimally well-balanced whole. Break any of the three and the whole thing collapses.