Here’s a paper jointly written by Abha Khetarpal
(Non-institutional expert, Enabling Unit) and myself (Founder, Infinite
Ability; Enabling Unit) on infertility as disability.
Khetarpal A, Singh S. Infertility: Why can’t we
classify this inability as disability? Australasian Medical Journal.
Disabilityis acomplexphenomenon. It reflectsan interaction between
which heorshelives. International
laysstress on the functional
as well as the structural problem
ofaperson. All the
definitions of disability also include the disorders of the reproductive and
endocrine system. So infertility and impotency should also be included in the
category of disability. It affects the participation in areas of life and can
have a disabling affect on an individual. Like any other disability the couple
has to adapt and integrate infertility in their sense of self thus infertility
comes as a major life crisis. Medically, infertility, in most cases, is
considered to be the result of a physical impairment or a genetic abnormality.
Socially, couples are incapable of their reproductive or parental roles. On
social level, infertility in most cultures remains associated with social
stigma and taboo just like the social model of disability. Couples who are
unable to reproduce may be looked down upon due to social stigmatisation.
Infertility can lead to divorces and separation leading to a broken family
life. Without labelling infertility as a disability, it is difficult for the
people to access services and welfare benefits offered by the government.
Infertility treatments are highly sophisticated so they are very expensive and
are even not covered by insurance and government aid. In the
light of all this it becomes imperative to categorise infertility as