The above argument is countered in equal measure by the following rationale in support of artificial reproduction methods. To quote:
“Means of assisted reproduction are also used frequently with couples who have difficulty conceiving or gestating a child, including women who have no uterus, have miscarried, or have conditions such as hypertension and diabetes that could be worsened by pregnancy. Surrogacy also affords parenting opportunities to women who suffer from illnesses, such as phenylketonuria (PKU), or HIV or AIDS that could damage the fetus either during gestation or the birthing process. Women now have the benefit of assistive techniques such as artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, cryopreservation, and surrogacy.” (Levine, 2003)
But it has to be remembered that the surrogate mother loses her right over the baby as soon after she delivers it. This can be very painful for both biological and gestating surrogates, although the pain of severance from her baby must be more intense for the former. Since this is a commercial enterprise, she can be tried for breach of contract, if she were to show attachment toward the baby, however natural this might be. So, this can be inhumane and cruel to the surrogate mother and this is one of the more pressing issues that should be debated and discussed by the general public (Naraya, 2000).
On the other hand, the financial compensation that the surrogate mother receives from her patron is quite substantial. The lump sum that she receives will take care of her basic expenses for a long time to come. Even legislations are made to ensure that the surrogate mother gets paid for miscarriage and partial term completions. More importantly, according to updated law, she is entitled to full compensation even if the child is stillborn. So, the judicial climate is quite favorable to women who participate in commercial surrogacy (Daly, 1994).
In conclusion, we have to admit that this is a complex debate – one that concerns a broad range of social institutions. The foremost among them will be the ethical and legal implications of commercial surrogacy. There are strong arguments cited both in support and in opposition to this modern day concept and it is not easy to take a decisive stance on the issue. Contemporary society and its public intellectuals need to debate and discuss in earnestly so that the conundrums posed by commercial surrogacy are resolved in favor of the future human generations.
Annas, G. J. (1998). Death without Dignity for Commercial Surrogacy: The Case of Baby M., The Hastings Center Report, 18(2), 21+.
Callahan, S. (1999). The Worth of a Child., The Hastings Center Report, 29(3), 44.
Daly, L. K. (Ed.). (1994). Feminist Theological Ethics: A Reader (1st ed.). Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press.
Human Life a Gift, Not a Commodity. (2002, November/December)., Canadian Speeches, 16, 14+.