Wednesday, May 27, 2009


One of the persistent canards flung by the pro-abortion side of the abortion debate against the pro-life side is that pro-life people only see women as "incubators." No matter how many times pro-life Americans demonstrate their kindness and generosity to both mother and child, before, during, and after the child is born, the charge goes out: pro-life women, say those who believe in any choice except the one that results in a living child, view woman as mere baby-making machines who have no say over their "reproductive choice" once a baby is already occupying the premises.

Yesterday I followed this post over at Crunchy Cons dealing with gay marriage (I know, I know, but fools rush in, etc.). When a gay man remarked that he and his partner are expecting a daughter, and received congratulations, I finally had to jump in this morning, asking whether it was appropriate to congratulate the mother of the child. I couched it as a matter of etiquette--e.g., that it's so hard to know, when the mother could be anything from a "parenting partner" to a mere paid "rent-a womb" whether it's appropriate to congratulate her on the impending arrival of the child who is undoubtedly hers, regardless of the child's relationship to either of the two men (one of whom is probably her father, but who knows, these days?).

The reaction has, so far, been to accuse me of snarky ulterior motives (no comment) to a polite discussion of the matter as an etiquette issue (in which the gentleman who first announced his impending "parenthood" participated). There has been no acknowledgment that there is anything wrong with contracting with a living human being to, essentially, pay her to provide the genetic material and the womb in which to manufacture another living human being, a child whose right to both her father and her mother are being ripped away from her before she's even born. One commenter even compared the situation to adoption, in which a woman who, for whatever sad reasons, finds herself unable to raise her own child--even though such a comparison is a deep insult to any woman who has ever made the loving, selfless decision to allow her child to be placed with a caring father and mother who will provide the security and stability she cannot. There is simply no comparison whatsoever between a mother who accepts the necessity of adoption for the child she can't raise, and a woman who willingly rents herself and her genetic material out to manufacture a child as a commodity for a couple; while it's even worse if she's planning to hand the child over to a "couple" who will deprive her child forever of either a father or a mother, it's still deeply, deeply wrong for her to do so if the couple involved are a married heterosexual couple.

The commodification of a child is a grave evil. Though surrogate mothers may think they are acting altruistically, they are not; they are denigrating the very notion of motherhood and reducing both themselves and their children to objects which may be purchased. In the event that the surrogate only "rents" her womb, "growing" a child manufactured from the husband and wife's own intact embryo or embryos, she is still participating in the grave evil of IVF, with its multiple murders of innocent unborn humans; surrogacy itself is a grave evil, with its supremely reductive view of a human being to a collection of body parts which may be used by others in exchange for money or other considerations. There is very little difference between a surrogate and a prostitute; both are selling what must not be sold, and cheapening not only their own dignity but the dignity of every member of their gender in doing so.

Ironically, it is not the "pro-choice" side which finds anything wrong with the use of surrogate mothers or the notion of surrogacy. Indeed, in regard to the manufacture and sale of children to gay male "couples," the pro-choice side is wildly enthusiastic for the most part. And while a few feminists have raised concerns that widespread cultural acceptance of surrogacy may lead to the exploitation of women in the third world, these concerns are muted against the push to create gay "families" in which many of the children are brought into being in this very way.

Consider this, from a NY Times article from March of last year in which the problem of surrogacy in India was discussed:

Although some Indian clinics allow surrogates and clients to meet, Mr. Gher said he preferred anonymity. When his surrogate gives birth later this year, he and his partner will be in the hospital, but not in the ward where she is in labor, and will be handed the baby by a nurse.

The surrogate mother does not know that she is working for foreigners, Dr. Kadam said, and has not been told that the future parents are both men. Gay sex is illegal in India.

Israel legalized adoption by same-sex couples in February, but such couples are not permitted to hire surrogates in Israel to become parents. A fertility doctor recommended Rotunda, which made news in November when its doctors delivered twins for another gay Israeli couple.

Rotunda did not allow interviews with its surrogate mothers, but a 32-year-old woman at a fertility clinic in Delhi explained why she is planning on her second surrogacy in two years.

Separated from her husband, she found that her monthly wages of 2,800 rupees, about $69, as a midwife were not enough to raise her 9-year-old son. With the money she earned from the first surrogacy, more than $13,600, she bought a house. She expects to pay for her son’s education with what she earns for the second, about $8,600. (Fees are typically fixed by the doctor and can vary.) “I will save the money for my child’s future,” she said. [...]

So far, for the Israeli couple, the experience of having a baby has been strangely virtual. They perused profiles of egg donors that were sent by e-mail (“We picked the one with the highest level of education,” Mr. Gher said). From information that followed, they rejected a factory worker in favor of a housewife, who they thought would have a less stressful lifestyle.

Words fail to express the diabolical level of evil involved in what these men are doing. Yet in our modern culture, there's no problem here: the poor women get money, the gay men get a baby, and everybody's happy. Only homophobia and bigotry could possibly object the the manufacture and sale of children to those whose sex acts will never produce one, right?

One thing is clear: it's not the pro-lifers who view women as incubators.


Deirdre Mundy said...

I think this commodification of the womb is a pretty common theme for a lot of gay men.

For instance, there's the habit of calling straight couples 'breeders'--as if we were some sort of animal.

There's a disgust with the idea of procreative sex. (Demonic inversion?)

In fact, when I got engaged one of my gay friends was totally confused. 'But Deirdre, " he said. "You'll turn into nothing but a baby-making machine!"

Baron Korf said...

This just smacks of life imitating art ala "A Modest Proposal".

Baron Korf said...

Haha, ouch. I just read the comments. They really didn't like you bringing that up. Reading the response I came away with a mom is a mom when she wants to be a mom. Or something of that circuitous nature.

The mistaken notion of adoption = 'rent-a-womb' is easily dispelled.

Adoption is charity defeating a tragedy. In other words a child is denied their birth parents for whatever reason (tragedy to be sure), but it given a the support of a new family (charity).

With surrogacy you manufacture the tragedy and then come in with charity. This hollows out the virtue and amplifies the vice. Compouding the issue one more step in this case, the child is a sort of social experiment. And as you rightly pointed out, motherless from her first breath.

eulogos said...

I wrote a long comment there, but when the captcha expired and I hit "refresh text" it disappeared even though it promises this won't happen! I don't have the time or the energy to do it again now.

Two men cannot be married. They shouldn't raise children. This is abuse of children, as Cardinal Ratzinger wrote. Such a situation does not constitute a family.
I think we got into this situation partially because the use of contraception confused people about what marriage is, about what sex is. They came to think of chldren as something manufactured to order, as in 'we are now "trying" to have children' as if this were a rare and abnormal state for a married couple!
People having sex without considering the possiblity of a chld coming from it, and people deciding when to manufacture a child as a totally separate thing from their decision to have sex, leads to a misunderstanding of what it means to be a man and to be a woman, and to be married and to have a child be born of that marriage. It is this, which heterosexuals have done, which has paved the way for the acceptance of homosexual sex as normal and of a homosexual relationship as marriage. The various forms of artificial manufacture of children for infertile couples have dulled people's sensibility to the evil of manufacturing children to fulfill our desires, and therefore to the evil of using women as incubators to provide children for two men to raise. Yes, it is a diabolical level of evil, but it isn't only homosexuals who are complicit in it and who bear the responsibility for it.
Susan Peterson

eulogos said...

Well I went back to Ron's and posted. Now I have to stay at work late to finish my work.
I should have included "or to avoid using our employer's time to post on the internet" in my list of sins we find it difficult to avoid, in answer to Maev's question about why acting according to natural law doesn't come naturally!

Baron Korf said...

Well Susan, I don't think you'll be invited to the birthday party, but it should get the point across.

surrogate motherhood said...

Well, i think there's nothing wrong when gay couple have a baby. They just want become a whole family. And in the future, it will become more common. As long as they don't do wrong with the child, it's oke.

Scott W. said...

Misogyny is the elephant in the living room of homosexualism.

They just want become a whole family.Respectfully, they cannot become a whole family because it is all based on lies.

Lerin said...

Where a child is deprived of a mother and a father in a sacramental marriage bond, there is no "whole" family.

CrimsonCatholic said...

Well, i think there's nothing wrong when gay couple have a baby. They just want become a whole family.And that is the one thing that absolutely can never be by their own choice. Ironic, isn't it?

ScienceMom said...

Red, excellent post! You're absolutely right: it is the Culture of Death that commodifies human beings.

One error, though:
There is simply no difference whatsoever between a mother who accepts the necessity of adoption for the child she can't raise, and a woman who willingly rents herself and her genetic material out to manufacture a child as a commodity for a coupleI think you mean "There is simply no comparison whatsoever ..."

Red Cardigan said...

Oh, good catch, Science Mom! The HVAC guy arrived just as I finished the post, and I skipped my usual proofreading step. Thanks so much for pointing this out--I'll fix it right away!