Snowflakes in July

Well, it’s July 1st, and that means that a whole passel of new laws go into effect here in Georgia, including one that will allow frozen embryos stored in fertility clinics to be adopted.  Since embryos are nothing less than children it makes sense they can be adopted, yes?  Except, of course, that current adoption law in Georgia only applies to actual children; so this new law, the “Option of Adoption Act” (HB388 if you’re interested) stops short of declaring embryos to be actual children, and instead of “adoption” per se we have “embryo transfer” and instead of “adoptive parent” we have “recipient intended parent.”

What’s going on here?  It seems obvious that this whole thing started off in some smoke-filled room with a bunch of religious conservatives who desperately wanted to criminalize abortion and declare every fetus–from conception to birth–as full-fledged American citizens.  But knowing that a) they could never get THAT through the legislature and b) the courts would almost certainly toss out such a law, they cooked up this pretzelly, weasly legislation that stops short of the original goal, but instead tries to get the camel’s nose into the tent, hoping to set precedent and hoping that if it’s ever challenged, it will be reviewed by a friendlier (conservative) Supreme Court.  I’m thinking two terms of an Obama presidency, with the resulting two or three new Justices, will put a stake through the heart of this particular vampire.  But I could be wrong.

Anyway, it’s now time for the good Christians of Georgia to put their money (and their ice chests) where their mouths are: let’s make sure every single unwanted snowflake in the Peach State finds a loving home!  They’re children just like any other, right?  And you wouldn’t sit by and let someone store their inconvenient 14-month-old in a freezer, would you?  So you’d better hurry and rescue that zygote before it’s disposed of, or before there’s a power failure at the clinic.

(And lest you think I don’t take any of this seriously, I’m not one of those who believes in the absolute right of a woman to abortion for any reason all the way up to the day she delivers.  Admitting that is not a slipperly slope to the pre-Roe era of back-alley procedures.  It’s a complicated medical issue, no matter how some try to paint it as a black-and-white “the government should not come between a woman and her doctor” scenario.  We might argue over the particulars, but I think Roe v. Wade got it just about right.)

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