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

No country allows the sale of human beings, so why is surrogacy still legal? Even if it’s ‘altruistic’, there’s a price to pay.

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.

Surrogacy may have been surrounded by an aura of Elton John-ish happiness, cute newborns and notions of the modern family, but behind that is an industry that buys and sells human life. Where babies are tailor-made to fit the desires of the world’s rich. Where a mother is nothing, deprived even of the right to be called “mum”, and the customer is everything. The west has started outsourcing reproduction to poorer nations, just as we outsourced industrial production previously.

In reality, “altruistic” surrogacy means that a woman goes through exactly the same thing as in commercial surrogacy, but gets nothing in return. It demands of the woman to carry a child for nine months and then give it away. She has to change her behaviour and risk infertility, a number of pregnancy-related problems, and even death. She is still used as a vessel, even if told she is an angel. The only thing she gets is the halo of altruism, which is a very low price for the effort and can only be attractive in a society where women are valued for how much they sacrifice, not what they achieve.

Source: All surrogacy is exploitation – the world should follow Sweden’s ban | Kajsa Ekis Ekman | Opinion | The Guardian

Angela Ames sex discrimination case: Breast-feeding mom loses because men can lactate too.

Ames’ story reads as every woman’s worst nightmare of what coming back from maternity leave could be like. Ames alleges that when she returned to work, another employee’s things were in her workspace. When she asked for a place to pump breast milk, she was sent to a company nurse. Even though the Nationwide offices had a lactation room, Ames says she was denied access and told she had to fill out paperwork and wait for days for it to be processed in order for them to open the door to let her in. With her breasts swelling and uncomfortable, she says the only options offered to her were rooms that had no privacy.

At this point, Ames says she reached out to the department head for help in getting that lactation room door open, which is when she was met with a resignation letter to sign. Ames reports that her department head said, “Just go home to be with your babies.”

But while the case was primarily decided on this question of whether Ames fought back hard enough, the trial court also ruled that bullying women over breast-feeding cannot be considered sex discrimination, because men can, in theory, lactate, too.

Source: Angela Ames sex discrimination case: Breast-feeding mom loses because men can lactate too.

Australian women win landmark vaginal mesh class action against Johnson & Johnson

The Australian class action against companies owned by Johnson & Johnson – watched closely across the world – was won on behalf of 1,350 women who had mesh and tape products implanted to treat pelvic prolapse or stress urinary incontinence, both common complications of childbirth.The devices all but ruined the lives of many. Women have been left in severe, debilitating and chronic pain, and often unable to have intercourse. The vast majority also suffered a significant psychological toll.

Internal emails revealed a doctor enlisted to trial the products warned he would “not like my wife to undergo this procedure” and did not think he would be “alone” in that view. The doctor is now earning royalties from their use, the court heard.

Separate emails placed before the court showed a callous and disturbing attitude among some French gynaecologists involved with the company. One suggested doctors advise women to try anal intercourse if they experienced pain during sex.

Source: Australian women win landmark vaginal mesh class action against Johnson & Johnson | Australia news | The Guardian

Sex Reassignment Surgery Market 2018 In-Depth Analysis of Industry Share, Size, Growth Outlook up to 2024 – MarketWatch

Sex Reassignment Surgery Market will exceed USD 968 million by 2024; as per a new research report. Increase in number of gender reassignment surgical procedures across the world will drive the growth of sex reassignment surgery market. There has been an increase in the patients wanting to change their sex from male to female or vice versa, increasing nearly fourfold in the last decade. According to the recent statistics from The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in the U.S. plastic surgeons performed more than 3,250 sex change operations in the year 2016, increased by 19% as compared to the previous year.

A concerning number of transgender patients that have undergone gender reassignment surgeries have expressed regrets, suicidal thoughts and depression. Increase in number of sex change regret incidence will affect the growth of sex reassignment market as it will lead to decline in the number of people opting for surgical procedures.

Thailand sex reassignment surgery market is the second biggest market after U.S., accounting for around USD 16.2 million in the year 2017. High number of transgender population opting for sex change surgical procedure, low cost of the surgical procedure and booming medical tourism in the country will augment the industry growth in upcoming years.

Source: Sex Reassignment Surgery Market 2018 In-Depth Analysis of Industry Share, Size, Growth Outlook up to 2024 – MarketWatch

World’s first vagina museum to open in London

This is the world’s first vagina museum dedicated to gynaecological anatomy, which opens this weekend in north-west London.

The first exhibition, which will run until the end of February, is called Muff Busters: Vagina Myths and How To Fight Them. It looks at misconceptions that surround gynaecological anatomy, including cleanliness, appearance, periods, sex and contraception.

Source: World’s first vagina museum to open in London | Culture | The Guardian

Plan for tax-deductible child care is on the table, but there is a catch

Families would be able to claim child care costs of up to $60,000 a year as a tax deduction under a proposal to be launched on Tuesday.

The plan would represent a windfall gain if it was extended to cover nannies and in-home care, which is not covered by the existing childcare rebate system for most families.

However, the report’s authors Rosalind Dixon, Richard Holden and Melissa Vogt recognise that tax deductibility offers little benefits to low-income earners.

Source: Plan for tax-deductible child care is on the table, but there is a catch

If the government tracks women’s periods, why not track male ejaculation, too?

Missouri, which has a population of over 6.1 million people, has only one abortion clinic. For rightwing zealots, however, that is one too many. An administrative hearing was held this week to decide whether the state can revoke the license for Planned Parenthood’s St Louis clinic; a ruling is expected in February. If the license is revoked Missouri will become the first state without a functioning abortion clinic since 1974.

As it turns out, the DHSS is so concerned about women’s health it has been keeping spreadsheets tracking the date of Planned Parenthood patients’ periods, in an attempt to figure out which of them “had undergone failed abortions”. Let me just repeat that: American government officials are tracking the menstrual cycles of thousands of women. But, you know, it’s for their own good so don’t worry about it.

Source: If the government tracks women’s periods, why not track male ejaculation, too? | Arwa Mahdawi | World news | The Guardian

Gay parents to get both names on child’s birth cert in Ireland

Same-sex parents will be able to legally register both their names on their child’s birth certificate from next May under new regulations to be signed by Health Minister Simon Harris today.

(ed: Complete erasure of mothers increasingly viable)

Source: Gay parents to get both names on child’s birth cert – Independent.ie