By Alana Newman
Clash Daily Guest Contributor
Column courtesy of: Ethika Politika
This column is continued from part 1 here:
So we have but a few choices: If there are no men to trust, we can settle for a weak and troubled relationship (not an attractive option); we can remain childless (another painful prospect); or we can circumnavigate a relationship altogether and call upon a fertility clinic to buy sperm.
The trouble with buying sperm, and single motherhood in general, is that women have to be financially stable to support their child(ren) alone. So perhaps that means we have to wait until our 30s or 40s after a certain amount of career success. Waiting might mean missing our natural fertility window—which would entail additional fertility treatments such as vendor eggs or surrogate wombs. Suddenly parenthood gets pretty expensive. Economically, it really makes the most sense for women to pursue motherhood during our 20s and 30s when our bodies are naturally designed for it. But those are vulnerable years for most women.
For example, in her early years as a young mother—without her daughter’s father to support her—J.K. Rowling survived on state benefits while raising her young child. Rowling today could afford time off work for pregnancy and infant care, but wouldn’t be able to conceive naturally. Even the most talented and creative women struggle to make single motherhood work. Note that Rowling never had a second child.
The trust deficit doesn’t solely pertain to fidelity. A robust virtues education includes but is not limited to: chastity, charity, diligence, forgiveness, kindness, humility, and temperance. The personal suffering of infertility and the related national suffering of population decline is affected by the full spectrum of sins.
Chastity: our bodies must be pure—pure from STIs and pure from poisonous substances. At least 25 percent of female cases of infertility or subfertility are STI-related. Charity: children require a generosity of the spirit. Diaper changing, soccer tournament escorting, loss of sleep—these are true sacrifices embodying the virtue of charity that a fertile society must value. Diligence: We must work. Scholars continuously comment on unemployment and the economy being a principle cause of marriage decline.
And so on. All of the virtues play into our fertility or marriageability. And if virtues and trustworthiness are too slow to develop, we may miss out on our natural fertility window. If a certain amount of virtues education is not observed after the wedding day there will be more divorces—which I’ve come to understand increases the use of egg donors and surrogates as divorced women in their 40s and 50s seek to remarry and bond their new relationship with a child, or remedy loneliness as single mothers by choice.
The purpose of this essay is thus to offer some hope and a possible solution to the problem we see in the use of commercial reproduction practices. It’s not enough to slap hands and bemoan the use of IVF and sold gametes or wombs. If you find yourself miserable from a poor harvest and a sick garden, you’d be wise to not just curse at it but rather improve the conditions of the soil and the seed. You should expose your specimens to the light.
For our fertility and flourishing too we must confront our rotten roots, the root of evil, our fallen selves. If you hate abortion, and trends of surrogacy and third party reproduction, then give glory and attention to the established virtues. Teach the people in your life about moral truths—for your sake and the sake of a coming generation.