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  1. #1 Surrogacy’s Strange Bedfellows 
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    Staunch Catholics and radical feminists join to protect the exploitation of women, especially third-world women, as homosexual males push for surrogacy laws.
    Surrogacy’s Strange Bedfellows
    http://www.the-american-interest.com...ge-bedfellows/

    ...Yet the traditional political allegiances of liberal versus conservative are thoroughly scrambled when it comes to surrogacy debates. In states where surrogacy legislation has been or continues to be debated, some of the strangest and unlikeliest of coalitions have formed to either support or oppose such measures. Here’s a brief overview of the lay of the land: Catholic groups oppose surrogacy on the grounds that it’s a commodification of human life and reduces pregnancy and the child to the “product” of a contractual agreement, rather than the natural fruit of a couple’s love and marriage. Within Protestant and Evangelical circles, there’s a wide array of thinking on the matter with some aligning themselves with Catholic teaching and others viewing surrogacy as a means to being “pro-family.” Libertarians tend to oppose restrictions on surrogacy much as they oppose any interference with the free market or with individual freedoms. They tend to adopt the same language and reasoning that is deployed in the abortion debates: “my body, my choice.” Meanwhile, women’s rights advocates tend to be the most divided on the issue, with some feminists supporting surrogacy under the banner of women’s reproductive autonomy, while others fear that a market for women’s wombs will result in exploitation, particularly of poor and minority women...

    ..As Allison Steinberg, a spokeswoman for the Empire State Pride Agenda (which supports the New York commercial surrogacy bill) recognized in the New York Times profile, “Not to be cliché, but you know how the phrase goes—first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby and the baby carriage.” Another Times profile quoted a gay parent by surrogacy: “First we got marriage equality; now we need surrogacy equality.” After all, same-sex couples seeking children of their own lineage can only achieve this with outside help—a man’s sperm or the egg and womb of two women. Yet Justice Wilentz’s ruling against commercial surrogacy counsels that there are some things money cannot buy, some things that cannot be sold. The demands of couples advocating for surrogacy are attempting to prove him wrong.

    Here, we have at loggerheads two groups typically allied as fellow liberals or progressives—who probably would be in agreement on most other social or economic issues of our day. On the one hand, women’s rights activists; on the other, gay rights activists. Most of the feminist advocates are uninterested in entangling themselves with debates over marriage—indeed, most of them fully support gay marriage. Their concern is that women could be used or harmed during the surrogacy process, which is increasingly the next step for many gay couples seeking children.

    In an interview in the newly released documentary film on surrogacy Breeders: A Subclass of Women?, MonaLisa Wallace, a leading San Francisco women’s rights activist and attorney, rejects surrogacy because it treats women as “industrial human farms” and commodifies human reproduction by paying a woman to “rent her uterus, to rent her ovaries, to risk surgery and death.” Most surrogates in the United States are paid between $25,000 to $30,000 to carry a surrogate pregnancy to term. Feminists like Wallace caution that such sums can often unfairly entice these women to act against their best interests without proper consideration of both the emotional and physical risks involved. Almost every surrogate cites financial incentives as her primary motivation. As the Pro-Choice Alliance for Responsible Research recently highlighted, “In the real world, contract pregnancy is a class issue. We won’t see many women working as surrogates for people who are less privileged or affluent than they are.” The power imbalance between the surrogate and the intended parents is enough for most feminists to urge caution in the surrogacy process.

    Also at stake here is the gestational connection between mother and child, which builds over the course of every pregnancy. The bond between the mother and the child in utero is both recognized and encouraged by the medical profession at large. Hormones, particularly oxytocin, are released during and after pregnancy that establish a bond of trust between mother and child. Surrogacy severs this prenatal attachment immediately after birth, which does a disservice to all parties involved.

    In her book Being and Being Bought, Swedish feminist scholar Kajsa Ekis Ekman likens surrogacy to prostitution:

    The product of surrogacy is absolutely tangible—it is a newborn baby. The woman bears and births a child and hands the product over. At the same moment she gives up the child, she receives payment. The first thing we wonder is: Why should this not be considered human trafficking?


    All of this leads to the concern that surrogacy turns procreation into commerce, children into commodities—no matter how much the commissioning parents love them. Pregnancy, with all its joys and perils, is denuded, a woman’s ability to give birth assigned a market price. Many feminists, unsurprisingly, find the practice unjust....
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  2. #2  
    Power CUer noonwitch's Avatar
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    I've never been in a position in which I was married, wanted children, and couldn't have them, so it's kind of hard for me to judge people totally for wanting to use a surrogate to have a child.

    I also believe that an adopted child is as much the child of the adoptive parents as a child by a surrogate would be. Biology is not the only thing that matters when it comes to children, and there are a whole lot of children out there that no one wants.
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  3. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by noonwitch View Post
    I've never been in a position in which I was married, wanted children, and couldn't have them, so it's kind of hard for me to judge people totally for wanting to use a surrogate to have a child.

    I also believe that an adopted child is as much the child of the adoptive parents as a child by a surrogate would be. Biology is not the only thing that matters when it comes to children, and there are a whole lot of children out there that no one wants.
    Adoption is a good idea all around, I think. Surrogacy, as long as it's voluntary, rare, and well regulated is not a horrific thing. I can understand those desperate couples who tried unsuccessfully to have their own children and might seek out a surrogate as a last resort. But, I do not think it is anyone's "right" to have a surrogate. Surrogacy is a great gift of a woman, who allows her own body to go through a life changing event for the good of another. It's as close to a sacrament as anything gets in this world and it should be handled that way.

    However, what is happening is that homosexual males, who cannot create or carry their own children, are pushing the explosive growth of a surrogacy industry, much of it centered in the Third World, where it is fairly unregulated. There are large, factory-like complexes where women are inseminated like cattle with foreign embryos (the egg comes from an American donor, the sperm from a GLBT male). These Third World women are paid relatively little for their services, and the baby is flown back to the US to live with "parents". The woman who bears the child has to deal with her sense of loss, her permanently changed body, her hormones that have been preparing her for the care of this child. The GLBT males, on the other hand, don't give this woman a second thought: she's just "an EZ Bake Oven", as the show "Modern Family" put it.

    The GLBT activists are pushing the surrogacy industry like mad, even when they have to undo laws that protect women and children to do so. (A lot of these laws concern human trafficking.) The GLBT language of victimization and oppression feeds their sense of justification, and many consider surrogacy a "right". Now that the US is validating their "right" to be married, the next "right" they are looking to create is the right to have children, which means the "right" to a surrogate. Therefore, to have their own children (at least a child with one of the males' DNA), they are willing to ignore all the bonds between mother and child, mother's body and child's well being. They believe it is their "right" to use women's bodies in this way.


    What is amazing to me is how overtly postcolonial the worldwide surrogacy industry is; think Gayatri-Spivak or Franz Fanon. Here you have a literal incarnation of the colonialist metaphor: white male sperm is literally colonizing brown female bodies; the end product is returned to the white metropole, the center of the empire. The Indian woman carrying a child for a couple of New York homosexuals is literally a supply colony and her product is taken out of the country.

    I can understand why radical feminists would be opposed to surrogacy. Most of them are Frankfort School types and it must be appalling for them to watch the politics of empire become aggressively and invasively personal. However, it is their brothers in arms--politically "oppressed" homosexual males--who use their victim status to brutally victimize others.
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    Power CUer noonwitch's Avatar
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    I'm not even opposed to gay couples using surrogates. I am opposed to making a business or industry out of it.


    My sister had trouble getting pregnant the first time. I told her if she wasn't able to get pregnant, I would be a surrogate for her. She ended up getting pregnant a few months later, and I wasn't willing to do it for anyone else, not even my SIL.
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  5. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by noonwitch View Post
    I'm not even opposed to gay couples using surrogates. I am opposed to making a business or industry out of it.
    I am opposed to homosexual male couples using any woman's body to obtain children. I do not believe any lesbian should be denied custody of the children she gave birth to in a divorce from either a man or a woman. The mother-child bond is there.


    My sister had trouble getting pregnant the first time. I told her if she wasn't able to get pregnant, I would be a surrogate for her. She ended up getting pregnant a few months later, and I wasn't willing to do it for anyone else, not even my SIL.
    That would have been an amazing gift. That is what surrogacy should be, in my opinion.
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