Facebook and Apple will now give up to $20,000 in benefits to help employees pay for infertility treatments, sperm donors and even to freeze their eggs. This from a recent Associated Press article.
Shelley Correll, a sociology professor and director of the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University stated “It potentially addresses the conflicts between the biological clock and the clockwork of women’s careers: The time that’s most important in work, for getting your career established, often coincides with normal fertility time for women. This can potentially help resolve that by pushing women’s fertility into the future.”
Good to know we’ve got our priorities straight.
Some experts claim other companies will follow suit “because it’s the right thing to do. It’s telling women they have the ‘opportunity’ to put off child bearing and focus on their careers.” (And) not make decisions based on certain reproductive limits women have. Apple’s and Facebook’s reproductive benefits policies also appeal to gay and lesbian couples who want to use a surrogate or a sperm donor to have a baby.
This is certainly a brave new world we are entering. Insurance and health care are evolving quickly. We may not be able to get health insurance through our employers anymore, but if we do it damn sure better cover the cost of our contraception to prevent us from having a baby now! And it also better cover the cost of any and all procedures necessary to see that we can have a baby sometime in the future! This used to be a matter of private- not public- policy.
I, for one, can’t wait to see how we expand- or perhaps eliminate- our erstwhile “reproductive limits”! Think of the possibilities! Maybe we can recreate our reproductive limits to better suit our modern era. We could, perhaps, get pregnant at a much earlier age and also at much older ages than currently possible. And, of course, we already have eliminated the anachronistic, archaic- and frankly sexist- burden of needing two different sexes to come in contact with one another in order to start a family.
But let’s not put all our eggs in one basket! Let’s think outside of the box. What if we could extend our “reproductive limits” all the way to include other species? Forget “One World Government”. Hell, perhaps one day we could get most of the creatures on Earth to be one big family…literally!
On the other hand, of course, there must be “birth panels” as there are “death panels”. We should restrict these infertility treatments, etc., to people we know deserve it. Folks we don’t think should have offspring should not be offered this coverage!
Many of us don’t believe in God anymore, but we sure love playing Him on t.v.! What could possibly go wrong?
Okay, I got a little carried away, I know, but as quickly as technology is changing, our code of ethics is changing faster. And as these two facts combine… we will have given birth to a very unpredictable future.
So for now, I will just imagine a parent a few years hence, a beneficiary of Facebook’s and Apple’s new reproductive insurance coverage. Sitting at the kitchen table with their son or daughter and relating their heritage, beatific smile on their face saying “Your sperm donor would be so proud. You were the Apple of my I-Pod honey! You were on facebook when you were just a non-viable tissue mass. Just kidding, you were the cutest little zygote, dear!”