Monday, October 24, 2005

Surrogacy - right or wrong ?

It always amazes me how people can have such strong opinions about some areas, without their having thought through the issues clearly. Surrogacy raises a lot of emotional issues, because it hits lots of "hot buttons", as a result of which a debate on surrogacy often sheds more heat and less light. I was watching a program on NDTV about surrogacy, and I heard this upper middle class woman pompously opine that surrogacy should be outlawed, because it allows commercial exploitation of poor women; and is a form of "reproductive prostitution" because no sane woman would ever "hire out" her uterus to another woman. I was shocked ! This woman was a self-righteous do-gooder , who felt that she was protecting her "poor sisters" by asking for a ban on surrogacy. However, by not allowing them to offer surrogacy services, wasn't she actually encroaching on their autonomy ? She didn't even respect them enough to allow them the freedom to choose for themselves - because she felt poor and stupid are synonymous; and that poor women are stupid women who are easy to exploit, because they cannot think for themselves, which is why they need protection which their richer ( and smarter) sisters could offer them. I feel it's much better to respect every woman's intelligence, and allow her the freedom to choose for herself. Suppose a poor woman with 2 children does decide to act as a surrogate for an infertile couple, so she can earn some money which will allow her to provide better food and education for her existing children, then what's wrong with this ? Why take away her freedom to do so under the garb of "protecting her rights" ? Unfortunately, exploitation is a fact of life, as Karl Marx so eloquently pointed out. As long as it's between mutually consenting adults, I feel the rest of us should mind our own business, and allow individuals the freedom to choose for themselves !

1 comment:

  1. I agree with everything you've stated here. We must respect the choice and agency of women everywhere. What an overwhelming trial it is to not be able to bear children. On the other hand, what an overwhelming trial it must be to not be able to provide food and education for your family. Under free will and choice, both of these problems can be solved through surrogacy.

    Great post! Do you have any other posts or resources on surrogacy?


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