Miriam Cates is right about surrogacy | Helen Gibson | The Critic Magazine

It is a fundamentally dishonest and exploitative practice

Much ado in Westminster this week, following the revelation by Miriam Cates MP, in a wide ranging interview in The House Magazine, that, like Pope Francis, she supports a ban on surrogacy.

“Anger as top Tory MP and mum of three Miriam Cates calls for surrogate baby ban”, screamed a Daily Mail headline. And yet, looking at the responses to Ms Cates’ mild assertion that “to deliberately bring a child into the world in order to separate it from its mother at birth … is just ethically not acceptable” I didn’t see much anger, more indifference, if anything.

Surrogacy is illegal in most countries in the world, in all forms. Commercial surrogacy, where a woman is paid for surrogacy and adverts can be placed for surrogate mothers, is banned in the UK in favour of a so-called “altruistic” model. Surrogacy is only legal in a handful of US states and countries such as Mexico, Colombia, Georgia and Ukraine. It’s certainly not a standard global practice to which everyone concurs with the view of it being “just another way to have a family”, whatever its champions may tell themselves.

Responding to Ms Cates in the Daily Mail, Chairman of the surrogacy agency Surrogacy UK, Alan White, said “surrogates don’t see themselves as mothers, they see themselves as extreme baby-sitters or looking after someone’s baby and doing that wonderful thing of doing the part of having children women or gay men can’t do for themselves.”

Only a man could call pregnancy and childbirth “extreme babysitting”.

[O]f course, a woman is not a microwave, or an oven. Without the mother, an embryo would remain just that. A woman’s uterus is not a neutral environment, one woman’s body is not interchangeable with another’s.

Epigenetics determines the development of the baby in utero; meaning the environment of the specific woman’s body can encourage or inhibit the development of certain characteristics that may emanate from the genes of the commissioning parents, but that her body ultimately decides whether or not to enable to develop. This reality makes the claim that a mother is just a “gestational carrier”, or “host” all the more galling.

Stop Surrogacy Now UK, a women’s rights group concerned with the growth of surrogacy at home and abroad. She said to me “we see all the time women reduced to nothing more than body parts, wombs for hire; we hear MPs talk about the need for ‘access to surrogacy’, without remembering there’s a living, human woman involved in this process; to say nothing of the impact of being handed away at birth on her child”.

Surrogacy might just be one of the biggest cons ever played against women. Convincing women that the child they grow from their own body and blood isn’t theirs, not theirs to bond with, not theirs to mourn; using their bodies for babies and milk, before leaving them behind without another thought, might just be the cruellest trick of the last fifty years.

Source: Miriam Cates is right about surrogacy | Helen Gibson | The Critic Magazine

One thought on “Miriam Cates is right about surrogacy | Helen Gibson | The Critic Magazine”

  1. The whole thing started with the male “right” to surrogacy, if it would have been only a female right (and not for profit etc.) and mainly in case of an individual female decide to carry a foetus for another unable to reproduce with her body

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