Wrongful Birth- in a Disability Context

October 15, 2014 at 1:38 am 2 comments

I was disturbed to hear about a case in which a white lesbian couple sued a sperm bank for “wrongful birth” after a mix-up- they asked for sperm from a white man, and got sperm from a black man, but only found out after the mother was 4 months pregnant.

Here’s the original news story, if you hadn’t heard about it.

I was bugged by the racial aspect of this story, but more generally by the larger concept of “wrongful birth” and its ableist origins. Being a white, pro-wanted child feminist, I felt a little awkward commenting on it, as I didn’t want it to seem like I was taking the issue away from Black folks and making it a disability issue (not that those are mutually exclusive!) So I was greatly pleased to see this essay by Ki’tay Davidson on Black Girl Dangerous: Angry About the White Lesbians Suing for Having a Black Child? You’re Missing Something

“This is ableism. This is disabled victim blaming. This is what it looks like to justify the labeling of some lives as worthy and valuable, and others as not. This is an act of dehumanization and violence. And, no, reproductive rights are not the counter-argument. This isn’t about the right to choose to have an abortion, which every woman should have. It’s about deconstructing ableism as the foundation of choices, just as we would deconstruct gender, sexuality or race as a foundation for such a choice.”

I thought it was a much more powerful message, coming from a queer, disabled Black person. Just a little lesson for would-be-allies about when to step back and hand over the microphone. Please pass this along!

Entry filed under: Disability/Health, Feminism/Gender, GLBT. Tags: , , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rose F  |  October 15, 2014 at 2:26 am

    Thank you for writing this! I hadn’t heard about this story.

    • 2. caelesti  |  October 15, 2014 at 2:41 am

      I believe I mainly saw it because I follow both the GLBT and Black/African American sections of Huffington post, so they both were abuzz about it. Saw the article on one of my facebook groups? Can’t remember!


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