Stranded Babies, Hurting Moms: COVID-19 Crisis Highlights Problems With Surrogacy

WASHINGTON — The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc in many industries — including the buying and selling of babies through commercial surrogacy. Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, babies are stranded in different countries than their genetic parents while surrogates and agencies are scrambling to care for them.

And according to human-rights advocates and religious leaders who oppose surrogacy, these pandemic-related problems have brought to light just some of the flaws that necessarily occur in a deeply unethical industry.

One recent study of 124 gestational surrogates who had 494 pregnancies found, “Neonates born from commissioned embryos and carried by gestational surrogates have increased adverse perinatal outcomes, including preterm birth, low birth weight, hypertension, maternal gestational diabetes and placenta previa, compared with singletons conceived spontaneously and carried by the same woman.”

Lahl said that when her dog was born, it was considered “inhumane” under California animal-cruelty laws to take him away from his mother until he was eight weeks old, yet “we will take a human baby right out of its mother’s womb and plop it in to the arms of strangers because they have a commercial contract … and we think that there’s no trauma to that mother and that baby?”

Lahl says that there have been aggressive efforts to legalize surrogacy from gay men who “want to be able to purchase eggs and pay women for their wombs in order to buy babies.”

Source: Stranded Babies, Hurting Moms: COVID-19 Crisis Highlights Problems With Surrogacy

“At that point you want to get your two Academy Awards out and say: ‘I thought these were meant to stand for something?’”: Australian film legend Cate Blanchett on the huge gender pay gap in acting

Film star Cate Blanchett talks to Julia Gillard on A Podcast of One’s Own about the huge gender pay gap in acting and the arts.

Blanchett says that “back in 2008, and to this day, you still have to push to get paid a third of your male co-star – it’s a fact”.

Source: “At that point you want to get your two Academy Awards out and say: ‘I thought these were meant to stand for something?’”: Australian film legend Cate Blanchett on the huge gender pay gap in acting

All-new female formula: just add anyone

Anyone can be a woman, according to Australia’s top science body.

The Australian Academy of Science, whose president John Shine is seizing on COVID-19 to campaign for accurate science against “made-up stuff”, has quietly adopted a definition of a woman as “anyone who identifies as a woman”.

Evolutionary biologist Madeleine Beekman, a professor at the University of Sydney, said she doubted her female colleagues would be aware of this redefinition.

“I find it very surprising that it comes from the academy of science, which should be based on science and not on some social, political agenda — so, I’m shocked, actually,” she told The Australian.

“If you’re going to change the definition of a woman to something that’s no longer based on a biological fact, then what are you doing?”

From May 1, Victorians have been able to change their official birth sex once a year by paying $110.50 and filling in an online declaration.

Source: All-new female formula: just add anyone

NSW government secretly paid millions to victims of a teacher it admits was a paedophile

Exclusive: At least 14 Indigenous men received out-of-court settlements after being abused by teacher, principal and school inspector Cletus O’Connor.

The department has never publicly disclosed the settlements, which in some cases included confidentiality clauses preventing disclosure of the value of the payouts. Nor has it acknowledged the existence of a serial paedophile in the public school system, a step that might have encouraged others to come forward.

Source: NSW government secretly paid millions to victims of a teacher it admits was a paedophile | Australia news | The Guardian

German lawmakers call for buying sex to be made permanently illegal

Coronavirus has caused Germany’s brothels to close their doors, but some politicians want the ban to become permanent. “Sexual activities are not compatible with social distancing measures,” they wrote to state premiers.

The letter calls for Germany to take the opportunity to adopt the “Nordic model,” under which paying for sex is illegal but selling sex is not. Under this model, sex workers are offered help and services to leave the sex industry and offered education, for example language courses. In Germany, many sex workers come from eastern Europe.

Source: German lawmakers call for buying sex to be made permanently illegal | News | DW | 20.05.2020

Deadly attack at Toronto erotic spa was incel terrorism, police allege

Charges against the suspect accused of carrying out the Feb. 24 stabbing attack, which killed a woman and injured another, were updated in court on Tuesday to “murder — terrorist activity.”

Experts said it was the first time anywhere in the world a terrorism charge has been laid over violence tied to the “involuntary celibate” misogynist movement.

Almost 50 deaths in Canada and the United States have been linked to incels, leading to calls to treat their actions as a form of domestic terrorism.

Source: Deadly attack at Toronto erotic spa was incel terrorism, police allege | Globalnews.ca

The forgotten Kennedy: The story of JFK’s sister, Rosemary, who was hidden from the world.

Like her elder brothers, Joe Jr. and John, she was born at her parents’ sprawling Massachusetts home. Only, there was no doctor present when her mother, Rose, was ready to deliver her daughter in September 1918. The nurse, intent on waiting for help, ordered Rose to keep her legs together until the doctor arrived.

Rosemary was held inside the birth canal for two hours, deprived of vital oxygen.

At age 11, she was sent to a Pennsylvania boarding school for intellectually challenged students, and at 15 to a convent school in Rhode Island where she was educated separately, with the help of a dedicated staff. Reports suggest her family made large donations to the school for its efforts.

In public, at least, Rosemary blossomed. But in private, she struggled.

Her rebellious late-night wanderings . . . in her early 20s had the nuns fearing “that she was picking up men and might become pregnant or diseased,” wrote Kennedy family biographer, Laurence Leamer.

In 1941, Joseph secured doctors to perform a lobotomy on his daughter, a surgical procedure that, at the time, was considered an acceptable form of treatment for mental illness and mood disorders. Although it was rarely recommended for intellectual disability.

The procedure was a catastrophic failure. It left Rosemary incoherent, unable to walk and only able to utter a handful of words.

She was 23 years old.

It was Rosemary’s sister, Eunice — who later became a prominent disability advocate and founded the Special Olympics — who first publically shared Rosemary’s story.

Source: The forgotten Kennedy: The story of JFK’s sister, Rosemary, who was hidden from the world.