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November 7 Thursday

The Constitutional Case Against Defining Infertility, Faren Tang, Reproductive Justice Fellow, Program for the Study of Reproductive Justice at Yale

  • Thursday, November 7, 2019 at 12:05PM - 1:30PM
  • BH Room 405
  • Open To The YLS Community Only
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Description

Legal definitions of infertility, usually for the purposes of state insurance mandates, rely on a faulty distinction between “medical” and “social” infertility and logically inconsistent double-standards for different-sex couples, same-sex couples, and single non-partnered individuals. But fertility coverage mandates, like all laws, must comport with basic Constitutional principles of equal protection and equal right to liberty. Most state laws concerning fertility however, condition patients’ eligibility for the exact same medical treatment on the presence, sex, or gender of a partner. Because the ability to achieve pregnancy is fundamentally contingent on the interaction of two or more parties’ physiology, and the precise mechanisms of fertility nearly always opaque, “infertility” as a concept lacks a Constitutionally sound legal definition. Government actors wishing to regulate fertility services must therefore do so without resorting to legal gatekeeping of monitoring the interaction of individuals’ physiology, partnership status, and sexual activity.

Faren Tang is a Reproductive Justice Fellow with the Program for the Study of Reproductive Justice at Yale. Faren was part of a cohort of students who founded the Reproductive Rights and Justice Project clinic at Yale in 2016. Faren has done legal work for the ACLU, the National Women’s Law Center, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the Center for Lesbian Rights, and Planned Parenthood. She was also a student director of the Immigration Legal Services Clinic at Yale, and prior to law school she worked as a paralegal for Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Faren is especially passionate about pregnancy, birth and lactation justice and the constitutional implications of justice for queer, single-parent, and other nontraditional families. Faren holds a J.D. From Yale and a B.A. In Women’s Studies from Vassar College.


 

Sponsoring Organization(s)

ISP, PSRJ