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Getting wiser on surrogacy

Let me be plain up front: I oppose surrogacy. In it I see the same heartless exploitation of a woman as I see in prostitution. The idea that one can “rent” another person’s womb or another person’s vagina and just walk away is deeply misogynist. A body is not a piece of machinery you own. A body is your way of living in this world. “You” and your body co-exist as one living being.

Nations have, thankfully, begun to limit this type of exploitation; in some nations, the practice is entirely illegal; in others, the contracts are deemed legally unenforceable if there is a dispute; in others, only within-nation or within-family surrogacy is allowed. Some nations insist on identification of the individuals providing egg, sperm, and gestation. Other nations put “surrogate” mothers on the birth certificate, and only formal adoption can change that designation. It should raise alarm bells that a child can be created through surrogacy without having to undergo the “legal hoops” required in adoption to ensure the child will have a good home.

Recently, we have seen the first stirrings of an “unblinding” of the sightlessness which makes surrogacy legal and prevents us from seeing its true, heartless character. In a British court case decided last year, a gestational mother who did not provide the egg for conception was given formal visitation rights with the child to whom she gave birth.

Though I have not been able to access the judge’s full decision in the case, this decision represents stunning progress towards a reality-based legal treatment of surrogacy—one that is long overdue. So let me suggest what should have been the reasoning in this case (though, of course, as an opponent of surrogacy I would rather seek to ban the practice altogether).

Read more at Mercatornet. 

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