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Should surrogacy be legal? Show more Show less
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Surrogacy refers to the process through which a woman intentionally becomes pregnant with a baby she does not intend to keep, instead carrying the foetus for its intended parent or parents, usually because the parent is unable to do so without her. Surrogacy may be altruistic where the surrogate is not paid, or commercial where she is. Countries and states often have unclear legislation on surrogacy. Should surrogacy be legalized? Under what conditions should surrogacy be legal?

Yes, surrogacy should be legal. Show more Show less

Everybody should have access to parenthood and women can decide what they do with their bodies. Surrogacy should be legal.
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Surrogacy is a practical solution

If we do not legalise surrogacy, people will do it in poorer countries where women are exploited. Currently, a large amount of surrogacy happens overseas in developing nations due to restrictive surrogacy laws in Western countries.

The Argument

Currently, a large amount of surrogacy happens overseas in developing nations due to restrictive surrogacy laws in Western countries. For instance, more than 25,000 children are now born to surrogate mothers in India each year.[1] These women are often kept in undesirable conditions while pregnant. By introducing restrictive laws on surrogates, prospective couples or individuals looking to have children through surrogacy are driven to find surrogates overseas. This boosts the surrogacy economy in countries like India, which boast large amounts of surrogate births for Westerners with questionable conditions for surrogates themselves. By legalising surrogacy, we are able to ensure surrogates are given rights and are not working under exploitative circumstances.

Counter arguments

Legalising surrogacy in Western countries would not stop the exploitative conditions of surrogate mothers overseas. Surrogate services in developing countries would remain cheaper than in Western countries and people would still use them. Additionally, legalising surrogacy would then move the exploitation closer to home, opening up opportunities for women in Western countries to also be exploited as those in developing countries are.



[P1] In places where surrogacy is illegal, those desiring surrogates are increasingly driven to using surrogates in developing countries. [P2] Consistent legalising of surrogacy would lower rates of surrogacy in developing countries (with potentially exploitative environments) and place them into an arena in which circumstances can be monitored.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] Legalising surrogacy would still mean women are being exploited - it would just be women domestically who are exploited.

Further Reading

Baker, B. (1996) A case for permitting altruistic surrogacy. Hypatia, 11(2), 34-48 Krawiec and Busby, K. & Vun, D. (2009) Revisiting The Handmaid's Tale: Feminist Theory Meets Empirical Research on Surrogate Mothers, 26 CAN. J. FAM. L. 13(44). Teman, E. (2010) Birthing a Mother: The surrogate body and the pregnant self. Los Angeles: University of California Press. van den Akker, O. (2017) Surrogate Motherhood Families. London:Palgrave MacMillan.




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This page was last edited on Sunday, 8 Mar 2020 at 03:02 UTC

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