Monday, June 13, 2011

Common Ground

What do Israeli feminists and Catholics have in common? Concerns about surrogate motherhood. From BioEdge:
The Israeli feminist group Isha L’Isha has published a harshly critical report on surrogate motherhood. Israel was the first country to legalise surrogacy, in March 1996. But 15 years later, says Isha L’Isha, “insufficient data have, as yet, been gathered to enable full evaluation of this innovative social experiment.”

“It is our belief that perceiving pregnancy and childbirth for another couple or individual solely as a financial business transaction is inappropriate and unthinkable. The fact that surrogacy is a complex relationship which might be fertile ground for harm and exploitation must be recognized, especially when private organizations with financial interests are allowed to become involved. We believe, that surrogacy in Israel should be prohibited. In the least, surrogacy must not be allowed to becomes an accepted, routine procedure, and should provide a solution only in rare, very extreme cases.”

The report warns that surrogacy could easily become baby farming:

“Objective utilization of identity-related aspects of the human body contradicts basic ethical values, and by nature, has high potential for exploitation and degradation. Surrogacy is an experimental procedure with great potential for harm, especially if it will become prevalent and accepted. The distance between heroically presenting a unique human gift to a childless couple and time spent on a ‘fertility farm,’ which uses human machines, is not large, and the ability to preserve this distance will diminish as surrogacy becomes more widespread and routine.” ~ Isha L’Isha, June 1
The newsletter from which this came, Isha L'Isha, listrs similar concerns about the egg donation side. Although the articles warn that surrogacy and egg donation "encourage" the commoditization of human life, the Church recognizes that surrogacy and egg donation in fact is the commoditization of human life, and contrary to the dignity of human beings.


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