Tennessee Lawmaker Wants to Define Children Conceived Through IVF as Illegitimate

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Life in Tennessee must be a perfect utopia. People there must have food, shelter, and health care, and they must all be getting fabulous educations. Otherwise their politicians would be trying to take care of those problems, and not wasting time on petty, cruel bullshit. There’s no reasonable way a lawmaker with real things to do would waste time trying to have children conceived with artificial insemination legally classified as “illegitimate,” and that’s what at least two Tennessee lawmakers are up to this week.

According to the NY Daily News, current Tennessee law says, “A child born to a married woman as a result of artificial insemination, with consent of the married woman’s husband, is deemed to be the legitimate child of the husband and wife.”

But now a Tennessee state representative and a Tennessee state senator have proposed bills to repeal that law and officially make children conceived with “artificial insemination” illegitimate.

This is ridiculous. Why are we classifying children as “legitimate” and “illegitimate” in the first place? What is this, Game of Thrones?

On top of that, one notes that there are in fact many different varieties of fertility treatment that could be covered by the phrase “artificial insemination,” and the law does not specify which ones are affected, or whether it applies only to children conceived using donor eggs or sperm, or by IVF. By using the broad term “artificial insemination,” it sure looks like they’re just trying to cover every conceivable type of reproductive assistance.

This idea is so positively nonsensical one would hope it wouldn’t go very far–a lot of Republicans use fertility treatments too, so the politicians behind these bills will probably get a fair amount of pushback from their own party–but so much of politics these days seems to consist of reading bill proposals and thinking, “But that can’t really happen, right?”

It seems like this bill might actually be a ham-fisted way of going after LBGT parental rights, too. According to Raw Story, the representative who proposed this bill in the Tennessee house of representatives got involved last year in a custody case where a lesbian couple was splitting up, and they had a child conceived by artificial insemination. The representative was apparently so convinced that the wife of the biological mother was not the child’s “legitimate” parent that she’s now attempting to legally declare a large number of her constituents’ children to be “illegitimate” just to go after the handful of divorcing lesbian mothers keeping her up at night.