domenica, febbraio 28, 2016

All surrogacy is exploitation – the world should follow Sweden’s ban


Pregnant woman

 ‘Surrogacy may have been surrounded by an aura of Elton John-ish happiness, but behind that is an industry that buys and sells human life.’ Photograph: Katie Collins/PA
That something is not quite right about surrogacy has been evident for some time. Ever since the commercial surrogacy industry kicked off in the late 1970s, it has been awash with scandals, exploitation and abuse. From the infamous “Baby M” case – in which the mother changed her mind and was forced, in tears, to hand over her baby – to the Japanese billionaire who ordered 16 children from different Thai clinics. There has been a total commodification of human life: click; choose race and eye colour; pay, then have your child delivered.
Then there’s the recent case of the American surrogate mother who died; or the intended parents who refused to accept a disabled child and tried to get their surrogate to abort; not to mention the baby factories in Asia.
This week, Sweden took a firm stand against surrogacy. The governmental inquiry on surrogacy published its conclusions, which the parliament is expected to approve later this year. These include banning all surrogacy, commercial as well as altruistic, and taking steps to prevent citizens from going to clinics abroad.
This is a ground-breaking decision, a true step forward for the women’s movement. Initially divided on the issue women came together and placed the issue higher up on the agenda. Earlier in February, feminist and human-rights activists from all over the world met in Paris to sign the charter against surrogacy, and the European Parliament has also called on states to ban it.
More here.