Karen Capato gave birth to twins in 2003 – 18 months after the death of her husband, Robert Capato. Are her twins eligible for “survivor benefits”? The US Supreme Court grappled this week for the first time with “posthumous conception”.
The Capatos married in 1999, and Robert was diagnosed with oesophegal cancer shortly afterwards. For fear that treatment might render him sterile, the Capatos began depositing sperm at a Florida sperm bank. They had a naturally conceived son in 2001, but they grew increasingly worried as Robert’s condition worsened. They signed a notarised statement that any children “born to us, who were conceived by the use of our embryos” shall be in all aspects their children and entitled to their property.
However, this clause was not included in Robert Capato’s will and Social Security survivor benefits were denied to the twins. Apart from reconciling Federal and State law, the case shows how many questions hang over children conceived with artificial reproductive technology. Here is what some of the Justices said in an initial hearing, as reported by the Washington Post:
- What about a child born into a marriage but not a biological child, asked Justice Sonia Sotomayor. She wondered what would be the outcome if Karen Capato remarried but used her deceased husband’s frozen sperm to conceive.
- Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg pressed Rothfeld on whether the marriage between the Capatos ended with his death.
- Justice Antonin Scalia wondered how children could be “survivors” if they were not conceived before their father’s death.
- “It’s a mess,” said Justice Elena Kagan.
The Fairness of Hate Crime Laws
Justice Doesn’t Require Vengeance
BILL DOBBS, GAY ACTIVIST
Racism and homophobia cannot be solved by longer prison sentences.
Why We Need Bias Laws
WADE HENDERSON, LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE ON CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS
We cannot outlaw hate, but laws shape attitudes.
Focus on the Crime, Not the Victim
TISH DURKIN, COLUMNIST
Don’t codify the idea that certain kinds of human life have greater value than other kinds.
Weapons Weaken as Target Expands
JAMES B. JACOBS, LAW PROFESSOR
Once intended to fight hard-core hate mongers, bias crimes now affect mostly mixed-up teenagers.
Hate Crime Laws Deter Violent Crime
CHRIS ANDERS, AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION
Laws must punish the crime, not objectionable beliefs.
Even Nonviolent Crime Needs to Be Fought
HAYLEY GORENBERG, LAMBDA LEGAL
Hate should be recognized and opposed in all its forms.
Promoción de la salud sexual y reproductiva
Dentro de las actividades de salud reproductiva,que coordina el Gr upo Interinstitucional de Sa lud Reproductiva y que desarrollan nuestras instituciones de salud, destacan la información y educaciónen materia de salud reproductiva; la promoción delejercicio de los derechos sexuales y reproductivos;la oferta de servicios de salud reproductiva a todala población, pero con énfasis en los adolescentes,indígenas y discapacitados, y el estímulo a la par-ticipación del hombre en el cuidado de su saludreproductiva. (pag. 69 del programa)
Definición de los derechos reproductivos:
Programa de Acción de la Conferencia Internacional sobre Población y Desarrollo, El Cairo, Egipto, 5–13 de septiembre, 1994, Doc. de la ONU A/CONF.171/13/Rev.1 (1995)