Friday, June 21, 2019

Surrogacy in NY...remains complicated

Surrogacy is a subject that brings out both sides of arguments about repugnant transactions. Vivian Wang does a great job of covering the story in the NY Times:

Surrogate Pregnancy Battle Pits Progressives Against Feminists
A bill to legalize paid surrogacy in New York passed the State Senate, but has found opposition from prominent feminists, including Gloria Steinem.

"The proposal to legalize surrogacy in New York was presented as an unequivocal progressive ideal, a remedy to a ban that burdens gay and infertile couples and stigmatizes women who cannot have children on their own.

"And yet, as the State Legislature hurtles toward the end of its first Democrat-led session in nearly a decade, the bill’s success is anything but certain.

"Long-serving female lawmakers have spoken out against it. Prominent feminists, including Gloria Steinem, have denounced it. Women’s rights scholars have argued that paid surrogacy turns women’s bodies into commodities and is coercive to poor women given the sizable payments it can bring.
"Surrogacy arrangements in the United States can cost anywhere from $20,000 to more than $200,000, according to a report from Columbia Law School.

Ms. Glick added, “It is pregnancy for a fee, and I find that commodification of women troubling.”

"But Senator Brad Hoylman, one of the bill’s sponsors, said the legislation showed “the importance of the L.G.B.T.Q. community to the State of New York.

I think that’s a mark of progress for our community and a mark of progress for human rights in general,” said Mr. Hoylman, who is the state’s only openly gay senator and has two daughters who were born through surrogacy in California.
"Washington State and New Jersey legalized paid surrogacy last year, joining about a dozen other states. Many other states allow it under certain circumstances or have no laws on the topic, effectively permitting it.

"Between 1999 and 2014 in the United States, more than 18,400 infants were born through gestational surrogacy, where the carrier is not related to the fetus. Of those, 10,000 were born after 2010, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Yet the opposite has happened internationally. Surrogacy is illegal in most of Europe. And India — where so-called fertility tourism brought in $400 million each year — outlawed commercial surrogacy last year, over worries about exploitation."

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