Last week, RH Reality Check published a piece in response to an earlier commentary I wrote about what was being billed as a feminist effort to criminalize surrogacy in Kansas. Much as I respect them, it appears the co-authors of that article responded to a straw man.
A recent RH Reality Check piece treated the vexing question of commercial surrogacy as a litmus test for feminists. For us at Pro-Choice Alliance for Responsible Research, we believe that contract pregnancy can’t be understood in such a simplistic framework.
The Kansas legislature is considering a bill that would make surrogate parents, gestational carriers, and anyone who assists them liable to up to a $10,000 fine or imprisonment of one year. But despite what some supporters of the legislation may say, criminalizing freely chosen reproductive actions is not part of the feminist project.
Paul Ryan’s relatively small family and Mitt Romney’s quite large one reveal the reproductive minefields for Republican candidates who presumably are expected to show obedience, in their personal lives, to the party’s extremist platform.
A well-known surrogacy attorney in California used her networks and well-financed practice to dupe families into paying over $100,000 for a child based on a fraudulent scenario. Basically, those looking to secure a child were told that a surrogacy arrangement had fallen apart—the intended parents backing out of the arrangement. This was false and a story constructed for fraud.
The question that we keep hearing now is this: “Does this point to the need for additional regulation of surrogacy?” Our feeling is no. Regulation does not necessarily promote good practice.
Two prominent reproductive law attorneys now await sentencing by a US district court after pleading guilty to charges connected with an elaborate surrogacy and baby-selling scheme. What measures will be taken by the fertility industry, policy makers, women’s health advocates and others to ensure the well-being of everyone involved with assisted reproduction practices?
Thai police recently announced that they had rescued 14 Vietnamese women, aged 19 to 26, from a criminal “baby breeding” ring.
Washington considers compensated surrogacy, SBA List and FRC demand House vote against keeping goverment running unless bill is anti-family planning, Sen. Murkowski supports Title X, Nebraska woman denied labor inducement, Idaho poised to ban abortion in state exchanges, and an “expose!” that isn’t really.
On her show, Oprah presented global surrogacy as a promising practice, spotlighting a US family that obtained their baby through medical tourism in India. But she left out the social complexities involved.