Central to the project of cross-border surrogacy is the ideology that legalised commercial surrogacy is a legitimate means to provide infertile couples and gay men with children who share all or part of their genes. Women, without whose bodies this project is not possible are reduced to incubators, to ovens, to suitcases. And the ‘product child’ is a tradable commodity who has never consented to being a ‘take away baby’: removed from their birth mother and given to strangers aka ‘intended parents’.”
An important read as Canada considers opening up our assisted human reproduction laws. I’d differ from Klein on some things; I would certainly categorize abortion as violence against women, which Klein does not, but I’d agree that all surrogacy (paid, unpaid) dehumanizes and commercializes human life. (The review also mentions some negative aspects of adoption, too, which I have to look into before commenting. Complex stuff.)
Does abortion support women’s rights or detract from them? Here, I put forward some questions and reasons why access to abortion detracts from women’s rights. Please forward to your friends who are pro-choice and feel free to tell me whether any of these arguments resonate.
Those of us who are against abortion understand that abortion attempts to equalize men and women in a manner that is both impossible and undesirable.
I saw Mona Charen speak once and was impressed. I know I’m all Weinsteined out at this point, but I think her article, which makes a call for the Me Too hashtag to be replaced with Be Decent, is worth showcasing. Particularly this paragraph:
For decades feminists have made abortion the signature feminist issue — thus signaling that consequence-free sex for men (who don’t undergo the surgery and heartbreak) was a key goal. Feminists may not have intended to thereby send the message that they were all in on the sexual free-for-all, but some men concluded as much nonetheless. Feminists set themselves a contradictory task — to insist that men and women were indistinguishable in their sexual tastes and appetites but then to demand that men respect women’s particular reserve.
I don’t think women really truly believe in consequence free sex–there is too much at stake. But oddly, we are told, by other women, no less, that this is plausible.
I’ll never forget the fellow I was dating back in first year university, who tried very hard to convince me to get on the Pill. It would be good for my cycles, he said. Ha! He didn’t believe in consequence-free sex, either.
Nonetheless, the message of abortion available on demand is that sex can be consequence free. The problems with this idea are self-evident. It’s women who bear the brunt of that particular lie when we have to take a pill every day that changes our hormones (contraception), or undergo surgery (abortion) to make it be so.
I hadn’t heard of Harvey Weinstein before last week. But no matter! I just wrote a whole column in Convivium about him and the problems we face as a society.
We’ve tried so very hard to create a world of consequence-free sex and it’s not working very well. But if there are alpha males in Hollywood or politics for whom it does work, then suffice to say, the culture encourages it.
My friend Veronique Bergeron’s blog, Fearless Family Life has a new look, which caused me to re-read some of her old stuff. It’s pretty great, starting with her description of her family and how the family got started:
I was 21 and unmarried when I got pregnant with my oldest daughter, right out of my first year of Law School. The doctor who confirmed the pregnancy told me that mothers in my situation ended up poor, uneducated and single. My peers told me: “You’re not going to keep it right?” She was born with the sunrise on a Wednesday morning. I didn’t believe in God back then but when they placed her on my chest, I knew I had touched eternity. She was more than a birth control flub, more than an “it”, she was a person who had been meant from all times to be placed in my arms. A unique and timely mix of the right chromosomes, meeting at the right time, never made before, never to be made again. Clara opened my heart to a love that defied every other kind of love: a love devoid of self-interest, a love of the other for the other’s sake. She gave me a new heart and new eyes. And so I was made a mother and never looked back.
Oftentimes, in life-related debates, it can feel like there is no common ground. This article highlights the problems with surrogacy, something many feminists are against, whether those feminists are pro-life or pro-choice. The author’s bio shows that on some issues at least, there can be common ground. Read her article–it describes the pitfalls of surrogacy very well.
Kathleen Sloan is a former member of the board of directors of the National Organization for Women (NOW), Executive Director of Connecticut NOW, a consultant on third-party reproduction issues, and co-author of the book Race and the Genetic Revolution: Science, Myth and Culture. She has a master’s degree in International Relations and has traveled the world advocating women’s rights, including at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and the UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York. She co-authored a brief for fifteen feminist academics and advocates as amici curiae in support of the petitioner (the surrogate) in the case discussed above.
She was just beginning her career as a physician and wasn’t ready to be a parent, she said in her lawsuit. “She wanted to meet a man, fall in love, get married, enjoy his life as wife with her husband and then, when she and her husband thought the time was ‘right,’ to have a baby.”
I have personally, to my own ears, not second hand, heard the above as a reason for getting an abortion. That child is long gone–the woman got it. (She wasn’t a physician, but otherwise the quote stands.)
This is legit when a woman chooses it.
He was just beginning his career as a physician and wasn’t ready to be a parent, he said in his lawsuit. “He wanted to meet a woman, fall in love, get married, enjoy his life as husband with his wife and then, when he and his wife thought the time was ‘right,’ to have a baby. The deceptions by DD deprived PP of the benefit of that choice.”
This is actually the story of a man who doesn’t want to be a dad and feels deceived into it. In other words, he would have aborted if he could. The courts are telling him he has to pay support and suck it up.
Please make no mistake: I think the man is a cad and a fool. But only in the way we all are, these days, as most everyone believes pregnancy and sex are totally unrelated. The courts have to force him into payments and fatherhood because they can’t afford to set any precedent where parents are not responsible for their children–someone must pay.
But this is a sad statement on our society when it comes to relationships. Viva la Revolucion.