Every sperm is sacred

Haven’t you heard? Masturbating should also be a crime.

If a fertilized egg is a human–then maybe sperm is too.

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  • http://feministing.com/members/andejoh/ John

    Every sperm is sacred if you look at the Health and Human Services rules for implementing the Affordable Care Act. Although women’s reproductive health is covered, men’s reproductive choices are not. Here are some of the differences in coverage:
    No-Cost Preventive Health Service For Women For Men

    Contraception Y N
    Sterilization Y N
    Contraception Education and Counseling Y N
    Sexually Transmitted Infection prevention Y N
    counseling for all sexually active individuals
    Counseling for Persons who are HIV+ Y N
    Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Testing Y N
    DomesticViolence Screening and Counseling Y N
    Well-Person Visits to obtain Preventive Services Y N
    listed above
    Suicide Intervention / Prevention Services N N

    women’s IUDs, contraceptive pills and implants, tubal ligations and birth control counseling must be provided without co-pays, doctor’s visit charges, or deductibles, while insurance companies will be free to charge men for vasectomies and contraceptive counseling. Women will universally receive free counseling if they test HIV-positive, but HIV-positive men will not. HPV can result in anal cancer and genital warts in men as well as cervical cancer in women, but no-cost HPV DNA testing will be added to free pap smears for women, while men pay for HPV tests or go without. The Centers for Disease Control found that 28.5 percent of men—over 40 million men—experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner. Those men, unlike women, will first have to ask for help and then pay out of pocket to receive it.

    Men suffer from suicide at 6 times the rate of women and HIV counseling and HPV screening is not covered. So every sperm is sacred, but not men’s lives. Women thought they had it tough. At least people are actually lobbying for their rights.

    • http://feministing.com/members/andejoh/ John

      Sorry columns got messed up. Women receive all the benefits except for suicide prevention, which no one gets, but which effects men disproportionally. Men receive none of the benefits. Just wanted to clarify.

  • trickie

    When you post these clips could you please also mention the show’s air date so those of us outside of the US (who can’t see the clips) can find them on local sites?

  • http://feministing.com/members/gemski/ QuantumInc

    Needless to say it’s eerie that his argument against the sperm person hood bill matched what Feminists have been saying about the anti-abortion movement for decades. Though I suppose you could give Ralph Shortie a little bit of credit for being honest when he says the government should control bodies to protect lives. At that point it falls to the old arguments that 1. An embryo isn’t a person 2. A person’s right to their own body overrides another person’s right to that same body even if their life is at stake. I personally agree with 1 and 2, and No. 2 is the foundation of “pro-choice” (but you already knew that). Though it is difficult to argue in favor of abortion access to someone who simply and honestly disagrees with both 1 and 2 (though you definitely already knew that).

    To be fair I know for a fact that the devout have reasons for drawing the line at conception, from conversation, though I didn’t think to ask exactly why at the time. Online resources talk more about defining a “human organism” which is synonymous with “human being” and “human person” than a simple “person”. They suggest that while sperm and ova are part of the human they come from, conception creates it’s own organism with at least limited independence. If that organism is also human then it is a human person. Though I’m not sure if I’m getting it right. An interesting argument, but I personally disagree with it. Personally I don’t think the human vs. non-human distinction is nearly as important as the sentient vs. non-sentient distinction.

    Of course the more common philosophical argument has to do with a person’s right to their own body. One famous essay compared pregnancy to having a dying man physically connected to you such that your organs could sustain him during his recovery. Would you have the right to cut him off, even if that means killing him. I completely forget the author’s name, but she argued that technically yes one does have such a right. (It’s seriously bugging me, who was she?) Supposedly this essay started the modern pro-choice movement.

    tl;dr? This is just my understanding of the abortion debate. Sorry for the rant. It’s hard to argue with people who define the word “person” differently than you.

  • http://feministing.com/members/emilyann/ emily

    I personally agree with you that an embryo isn’t a person, and also that a person’s right to their own body overrides another person’s right to that same body even if their life is at stake. In my opinion, it’s nobody else’s business what you decide to do. I feel anybody has the right to do what they feel is right for them.