While women in the U.S. often struggle with infertility, it can be truly devastating for women in other countries around the world, reports Newsweek. "If you are infertile in some cultures, you are less than a dog," says Willem Ombelet of the Genk Institute for Fertility Technology in Belgium. In certain societies, infertile women may not be invited to weddings. Often, people see them as having a "bad eye" that can make other women infertile, too. In Chad, a proverb says, "A woman without children is like a tree without leaves." In the Hindu religion, a woman without a child, particularly a son, can't go to heaven. In Muslim cultures, women without children aren't always allowed to be buried in graveyards or sacred grounds. Since the consequences of infertility can include ostracism, physical abuse and even suicide, Yale professor Marcia Inhorn says: "It's a human-rights issue." But in addition to treating infertility, shouldn't we also address the intolerance? [Newsweek]
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