Monday, 11 March 2013

$10,000 for An Abortion

IVF and surrogacy is a complicated issue, with arguments over who is the rightful parents. This division is seen in the US, where some states have laws that favour the genetic parents, who provided the essential material to get stuff going, and other states giving priority to the birth mother, who carried the child full term before going through Labour.

This complexity manifested itself dramatically in the form of a case in America, where a surrogate mother had been paid $22,000 in order to carry a child for a couple. All was fine until it was discovered that the child had serious disabilities, including a cyst on the brain. The genetic parents decided that the pregnancy should be terminated, and offered $10,000 for the surrogate mother to have an abortion.

Initially demanding $15,000, the surrogate then decided that she did not want to have an abortion, and was determined to give birth to the baby. Issues then flared up over who the baby technically belonged too, and who had the right to end its life, an issue that led to the surrogate mother fleeing to a different state, one that would give her rights over the child.

She was determined to ensure that an abortion did not take place, and that this child was given a chance to live. The child, in the end, was born with severe disabilities, but is making significant progress. The question, however, is this: should the child have been given a chance to live, against her parents wishes?

The answer, whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, must be yes. From the pro-choice perspective, you have to recognize that, regardless of who the actual parents are, the pregnancy was something that the surrogate had to go through. If a woman has the right to decide over her own body, then a surrogate has a right to choose to give birth to a baby.

The pro-life position, the one that I speak from, is that it does not matter who the parents are, since all that matters was that this child had a right to life, and nobody had the right to take that away. Neither the surrogate or the genetic parents had a right to end the life of this child that they had worked together to bring into the world. Just because it had disabilities, does not mean that it should not have a chance to experience the world.

In either case, pro-life or pro-choice, you have to recognize that this is the sort of thing that you should not be bought for $10,000. It should not be bought with any amount of money, as this is an issue where commercialization just cheapens the human reproductive process, turning it into a market that can be exploited and used to produce profit.

To say the situation is complicated is an understated. However, this child is alive and well, and I am glad that people managed to stop squabbling enough to allow her to have a chance at life.

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