Data from the NHS Business Services Authority, which deals with prescription services in England, shows a large disparity in the number of women being given these drugs compared with men, with 761,641 women receiving painkiller prescriptions compared with 443,414 men, or 1.7 times, and the pattern is similar across broad age categories.
The women who reached out said they felt that they were often “fobbed off” with painkillers when their problems required medical investigation.
Perhaps you have seen one of the surrogacy puff-pieces already: a woman agrees to “give the gift of life to others” who are unable (or unwilling) to bear their own child, by carrying a child formed from a (sometimes very expensive) “donated” egg that has been fertilised in vitro by the sperm of one of the intended parents. This is gestational surrogacy – the most common form of the practice today. The surface picture presented is normally entirely positive and uncritical and it is either a contribution to mindless celebrity news, or else, in the case of gay parents, the trumpeting of another victory for “LGBT+ rights”. A glossy “happy families” portrait.
Or perhaps you have read one of the more recent LGBT+ media accounts about gay men having children via surrogacy, where the word “surrogacy” is banished from the page, together with any reference to the involvement of a woman in the process somewhere. The Ministry of Alphabetical Truth seems to like creating the illusion of men not needing women in order to produce children. Motherhood is erased, and perhaps we are to believe that it is replaced by obliging rainbow storks. Not a woman in sight.
Big Fertility, a multi-billion-dollar global industry, has been given a shot in the arm by the rainbow-washing of the LGBT+ lobby: a lobby that promotes “fertility equality” for gay men, (or perhaps the usual description these days is “LGBT+ men”, given the colonisation of the LGB identity by extreme gender ideology activists). However, so-called “fertility equality” comes at the cost of the rights and equality of women and children. Not only does surrogacy instrumentalise women and babies in a dehumanising way: it is also a physically dangerous process that can lead to serious illness, psychological trauma and death.
Apart from the potentially traumatic separation of a baby from her mother at birth, there is also the risk of “genealogical bewilderment”, where the child may feel a sense of abandonment and of not being properly anchored in the world as a result of not knowing the identity of one or both of her genetic parents, or of her birth mother. There is the challenge of coming to terms with having started life as a purchasable commodity, and of not knowing whether the mother who bore her is in need of help, or whether she had been compelled by financial circumstances or a coercive man to enter into the surrogacy arrangement that resulted in the child’s very existence. That can be a great deal for a child to process, and a great burden.
Gary Powell is a gay man and has been active in gay politics since 1980. He is the European Special Consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture.
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Thanks to an absence of regulation, America is a notable exporter of human sperm.
The most obvious gap is a legal limit on the number of children a sperm-clinic donor, however tall and brilliant he may be, can help create. America is one of the few countries to have no such cap (Britain, by comparison, has a limit of ten donor-created families per donor).
Many observers would also like a law requiring clinics to do more comprehensive screening for health conditions. In2oi4 a once popular donor who had fathered innumerable children in several states and at least two other countries was found to have lied about being a polyglot neuroscientist
with an IQ of i6o and perfect health. He was rather a university drop out with a criminal record and several health disorders.
A landmark decision from November 2019 has been upheld, delivering findings in favour of thousands of women whose “lives were destroyed”.
In November 2019, Justice Anna Katzmann of the Federal Court of Australia found in favour of women impacted by pelvic mesh implants sold by Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon which were “not fit for purpose”. The class action – “the largest women’s health class action in Australia’s history”, according to Shine – commenced in October 2012 and culminated in a trial that ran over seven months starting in July 2017.
It was a win, the firm said, for “the brave women who spoke out about their suffering”, after pelvic mesh implants left them in “chronic and debilitating pain”.
In March 2020, Justice Katzmann ruled that the three lead applicants – Kathryn Gill, Diane Dawson and Ann Sanders, who represented the class – were to be awarded damages of $1,276,113.00, $555,555.000 and $757,372.00, respectively.
Justices Jayne Jagot, Bernard Murphy and Michael Lee – who heard the appeal in NSW – expedited their judgment and, on Friday, 5 March, delivered findings in favour of 10,000 women “whose lives were destroyed by defective prolapse mesh and incontinence tape implants”, Shine said.
The remaining members of the class, Shine noted, can now bring individual claims for compensation which will be assessed by the Federal Court.
- Suella Braverman is expecting her second child at the beginning of next month
- She is the inspiration behind the Ministerial and Other Maternity Allowances Bill
- Drafts of the bill referred to ‘pregnant people’ rather than mothers or women
- The Government has now caved in and agreed that it will refer to ‘mothers’
SNP MP Joanna Cherry (Edinburgh South West) made the comment as Parliament debated a Bill to extend maternity rights to ministers and shadow ministers.
Concerns were raised in the Commons over why the Bill refers to a “person” rather than a “woman” being able to take maternity leave.
She said: “Many politicians are now so in thrall to those who wish to erase women for the purposes of advancing gender identity theory, that they call those of us who advocate for women’s sex-based rights transphobic, even when we have never done or said anything against equal rights for trans people in our lives.
“It is possible and right to support both trans rights and women’s rights, neither should be sacrificed for the sake of the other.”
Ms Cherry continued: “We can have an inclusive society for everyone without doing that.
“Sex is a protected characteristic for a very good reason.
“Discrimination against women is rooted in their biology, that is our lived experience.
“We must find a way to be inclusive without erasing women’s biology and women’s lived experience from the statute book.
Midwives have been told to say “chestfeeding” instead of “breastfeeding” and to replace the term “mother” with “mother or birthing parent” as part of moves to be more trans-friendly.
Staff have been instructed that “breastmilk” should be replaced with the phrases “human milk”, “breast/chestmilk” or “milk from the feeding mother or parent”.