Monday, September 28, 2009

Was it the blindness or the dirty panties?

I recently ran across an article about a blind woman, who hoped to have a child with the help of a fertility clinic. Turns out, the fertility clinic turned the woman down, refusing to help her have a child. The physician is said to have felt that the blind woman could not care for a baby.

According to the clinic staff, the woman had trouble "finding bus stops" and she had "dirty underwear." So, I'm supposing they thought that (If it's true...) would make her a bad mother. I don't know about the bus stop accusation... (That's probably true. A blind person is sure to not always find what they're looking for. Perhaps the dirty underwear accusation is indeed true. But I would put money on it that the blind woman wasn't the only woman that graced their clinic with soiled underwear.

They also refused to offer fertility services because she refused to hire an occupational therapist to evaluate her home, so that the doctor would feel assured that the blind woman's home was safe for a baby. (I wonder if this is something they make all of their patients do? Hmmm...) I wonder what they thought they would or would not find in the blind woman's home? I also wonder if they would next demand that the blind woman prove to the occupational therapist that she can do various housekeeping and cooking jobs within the home. I wonder if she would've had to prove that she was capable enough of dipping her child in a tub and drowning the baby the way that sighted Andrea Yates did. **So much to consider...**

Well, the fertility clinic won their case. Apparently, the courts feel that it is permissible for a clinic to refuse to help a blind woman have a baby.

Interestingly enough, the blind woman went to Iowa, and found a doctor that agreed to perform the procedure in 2001. I guess this doctor didn't give a darn about the babies he helps bring into the world. Why would any "good and moral" doctor help a "blind" woman have a baby?! Ridiculous!

Perhaps it was because the new doctor didn't notice her stank, nasty underwear...

Or just maybe, just maybe he realized that a blind woman is capable of being a good mother to a child, just as a sighted woman can be.

Side Note: I also wonder if this woman could have possibly been discriminated against because of something more than blindness. For instance, I wonder how much her race and sexuality played a part in the decision to not give her a child. All too interesting... I should definitely follow this case.

3 comments: said...

Hey Angie!

This is a shame! It really is! There is clear discrimination against the blind and there is a broad perception that they can't function as "sighted" adults can. I would have loved to see Stevie Wonder on television using a walking cane and go on stage by himself to accept an award rather than being led by the hand. I think that it fosters the perception in the mind of the public that those without sight can't function independently.

I am so happy to hear that there was a doctor who allowed her to have the same fertility services that sighted women were receiving!

Sadia said...

Thanks for posting this. There are many things that make a person unfit to be a parent, but blindness shouldn't be on that list. How very sad for the hopeful mom!

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