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Should surrogacy be legal? Show more Show less

Surrogacy is the carrying through pregnancy until birth of one couple's or individual's child by someone else. The science has advanced significantly in this area allowing for the choice of surrogacy as an option for many potential parents. Most countries have unclear legislation about surrogacy. Should surrogacy be legalized? Under what conditions should surrogacy be legal?

No. Surrogacy should be illegal. Show more Show less

Commodification of human life is immoral and surrogacy is exploitative.
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Surrogacy exploits women

Most women are forced into surrogacy by coercion or economic need.

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Ever since the commercial surrogacy industry kicked off in the late 1970s, it has been awash with scandals, exploitation and abuse. From the infamous “Baby M” case – in which the mother changed her mind and was forced, in tears, to hand over her baby – to the Japanese billionaire who ordered 16 children from different Thai clinics.

The Argument

Surrogacy is a form of prostitution. Most women are forced into surrogacy by coercion or economic need. Surrogacy is by definition degrading to women. It reduces them to merchandise to be bought and sold. Legalising it would reinforce their oppression by male-dominated societies and present a clear affront to the concept of gender equality. Surrogacy is Alienated Labor in terms of Hegel's philosophy. Surrogate mothers are inevitably emotionally attached to the 'product' of their work, and it is exploitative and cruel to then take the baby away.

Counter arguments

Surrogacy is just another job. Per Hegel, a lot of labour causes the alienation of the worker - this does not necessarily mean these industries should be outlawed. There is no inherent reason, beyond moralistic ones, that women should not be able to sell use of their body for pregnancy. Legal parameters can be introduced to reduce the level of exploitation found in the surrogacy markets, such as ensuring prospective surrogates are financially stable and only allowing surrogates who have previously had children so that they are aware of the gravity of the process.


[P1] Women are forced into surrogacy by circumstance, making it an exploitative process.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] There is no inherent reason surrogacy is exploitative.


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This page was last edited on Thursday, 16 Jan 2020 at 09:50 UTC