RentAWomb: a bit more morally complex than RentATruck

In the Daily Mail UK, Jessica Szalacinski discusses her experiences as a surrogate mother.  She enjoyed bearing children for gay couples who could not do so, but loathed the discussions she had with a very rich, very famous couple who wanted a hot egg donor, picked the sex of the child, and ordered her to have an abortion if more than one embryo was successfully implanted in her womb. (Story here.)

The sensationalism of the rich-and-famous eugenicists aside, even ‘ideal’ surrogacy arrangements are morally problematic.  Of Ms Szalacinski’s pregnancy and delivery, the Daily Mail writes, “In the delivery room, the baby was whisked away as quickly as possible, before any ‘biological urge’ could present itself.”

Maybe I’m some backwater dolt, but here’s my rule of thumb for when a newfangled medical procedure is ethical and when it crosses the line: if you are treating a mother’s love for the child she carried in her womb as a problem, you have gone seriously astray in life. This love is integral to the survival of the human race and is also a cornerstone of what makes us human, yet any surrogacy arrangement demands that this love, this desire to treasure and protect a newborn baby, be treated as a ‘biological urge’ that is best ignored and suppressed.


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