Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Surrogate Abortion

This story is going to stir up the usual suspects:
When a B.C. couple discovered that the fetus their surrogate mother was carrying was likely to be born with Down syndrome, they wanted an abortion. The surrogate, however, was determined to take the pregnancy to term, sparking a disagreement that has raised thorny questions about the increasingly common arrangements.

Under the agreement the trio signed, the surrogate’s choice would mean absolving the couple of any responsibility for raising the child, the treating doctor told a recent fertility-medicine conference.

The fetus was genetically the couple's and the surrogate did have an abortion because of her family obligations -- two children of her own.

The article contains comments from bioethicists and experts in surrogacy.

On the one hand: SHRIEEEEEK!!!1!1! Treating babies like commodities!

On the other: WTF!!!11!!11 Somebody else can decide whether a couple must raise a baby they don't want?

Back to the first hand: SHRIEEEEK!1!!!!! But it's perfectly OK to force a pregnant woman to have an abortion she doesn't want?

Other hand: Obviously, the three of them should have discussed this possibility beforehand and decided to go ahead or not based on whether they all agreed.

In any event, the Notional Pest is milking it. It is hosting a live online
discussion at 2 p.m. ET today.

UPPITY-DATE: Ewwwww. Babs Kay is on the panel and she's already got them calling the fetus an 'unborn baby'. I don't how much I can take of it. . .

3 comments:

Kim said...

Wow, complex case! I agree anyone who enters into such an agreement should have discussed the possiblity.

zoom said...

Wow. It's complicated. And you have to think too about whether your answer is consistent with your thinking on related issues.

I think the pregnant woman ultimately gets to decide whether an abortion will take place.

As for the couple...well...if the surrogate decides not to abort, then the couple must be held responsible for their role in creating this baby (everything from signing the agreement to providing the egg and sperm). They did commit to taking care of it. So either they support it financially - even if the surrogate keeps it - or they put it up for adoption.

If they want to put it up for adoption but the surrogate refuses, then the couple should have the same financial obligations to the child as an unwilling father would have. (Or maybe the surrogate has no say when it comes to adoption. The couple takes 'possession' of the child at birth, as agreed, but then immediately surrenders it for adoption.)

That's my scattered opinion off the top of my head - but I'm pretty sure I could be talked out of it by a more cogent argument. ;)

Luna said...

I agree with what zoom said.

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