Who would have imagined that the dawn of the 21st century would be marked by an archaic regression, exploiting women as ‘phantoms’ degraded to the point to being used to give birth on behalf of others?
Who would have thought that in France, the Minister of Justice could force his clerks to turn a blind eye to laws being broken, thereby transforming women and children into commodities that can be bought and sold? Can we tolerate individuals managing a woman’s life for nine full months, and controlling her intimacy just to produce a child in accordance with a quality chart? Whether the women are “consenting “ or not, and paid or not, Gestational Surrogacy (GS) constitutes a serious lack of respect for a human being’s integrity, for the consideration of a woman’s body other than as an instrument, and for children other than as merchandise to be bought and sold.
Would the Ministry in charge of Industry approve with full knowledge importing goods produced by foreign slave workers, or would the Health Ministry accept organ donations from people living in very precarious conditions in less developed countries?
It is not a question of stigmatizing children born to surrogate mothers. On the contrary, the challenge is to protect the child’s interest. The issue of acquiring French nationality is a contrived issue: by virtue of article 21-12 of the Civil Code, a child who has lived in France for five years can obtain French nationality, regardless of how he was conceived. The interest of the child is that no one “play” with his procreation, his origin or his parentage. Let’s not reverse the roles: it is people having recourse to Gestational Surrogacy who are at the origin of this so-called “mistreatment”, and not the French government.
But neither is it a question of ignoring the painful desire of some women who, for medical reasons, are unable to bear children. It is essential that they be accompanied with good care but there are undeniable lines not to be crossed. This is what can help them find a different approach, not to breach the fundamental rights of human dignity. The suffering of those having difficulty in conceiving is only made worse by all the media reporting various procreation techniques springing up all over the world, regardless of the means employed. Alliance Vita witnesses this on its helpline “SOS BABY.” We spend time with people so they do not find themselves going off on tracks where they haven’t been able to anticipate all the pitfalls.
How can we not be astonished by the media industry’s complacency over the last few days showing cases of men using GS in a completely illegal way? This is exceedingly hurtful for women; constituting the epitome of their denial and exploitation. It is so unfair for the children who are being intentionally deprived of a maternal relationship. Recall that there is no given “right to have a child” is a necessity we have to affirm, to help those men avoid violating the rights of the child.
Yet in January 2013, Taubira’s report, as well as the refusal to appeal the ECHR decision of June 2014, constitute an implicit approval of gestational surrogacy.
The saying “Women and Children First” takes on a special meaning in this context.
European citizens are fighting against “maternity trafficking” to encourage politicians to be courageous enough to put a stop on practices that are opposed to Human Rights. Let’s support them by joining them on www.nomaternitytraffic.eu . With them let’s reaffirm that one cannot dispose of a woman’s body, that one cannot ask another woman to ‘make babies’ for someone else: women are not for rent and children cannot be bought or donated to others.