Wait. Just Being Single Is Now A Disability?
Some of us see being single as an opportunity to sleep in the middle of the bed, eat food without having it stolen and go out without having to ask permission. Like Nick Jonas sang, “there’s one thing I love more than being with you and that’s no ties, no drama in my life.” And deep down, single or taken – don’t lie – we’re all secretly about the pizza life.
So where on Earth does the World Health Organization get off classifying being single as a disability?
Well essentially this move will mean that people without a sexual partner will formally be seen as “infertile”. While this might sound strange and wrong it turns out that it’s actually really empowering.
It will allow single, heterosexual individuals, as well as gay or lesbian individuals, to receive the same priority as couples do when it comes to IVF.
This controversial decision has stirred up a lot of debate – and the claws have come out. Under the America Disabilities act, a person with a disability is defined as someone with “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities (ok, that one might hurt a bit), a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment (haters, gonna hate).” And seeing as how having a child is a major life event for most people, technically, the WHO’s decision could hold.
However, Josephine Quintavalle, a pro-life activist and the director of Comment on Reproductive Ethics, told the Telegraph, “This absurd nonsense is not simply re-defining infertility, but completely side-lining the biological process and significance of natural intercourse between a man and a woman.” (I can only hear this in a really snobby, shrill tone – no idea what she actually sounds like).
She adds, “How long before babies are created and grown on request completely in the lab?”
WHO’s Dr David Adamson, one of the authors of the new standards, countered, “The definition of infertility is now written in such a way that it includes the rights of all individuals to have a family, and that includes single men, single women, gay men and gay women. It puts a stake in the ground and says an individual’s got the right to reproduce whether or not they have a partner.” (Well, buddy, technically nature didn’t give us this right – but it’s a really good argument for civilized progress).
The truth is that this ground breaking stance by WHO will have significant ramifications for countries with government provided healthcare and public funding for IVF.
Adamson continues, “It fundamentally alters who should be included in this group and who should have access to healthcare. It sets an international legal standard. Countries are bound by it.” And honestly, perhaps this is a good thing. No-one is being forced to make use of it, and if you are single and really want to be a parent it gives you another option.
The World Health Organization has not yet made its new terms official, however, the process is moving forward. Do you think this is empowering, or crazy? I would love to know your thoughts. Leave them in the comments section below.