Council of Europe: surrogacy once again under debate

Publié le : 22 September 2016

A report condemning so-called “commercial” surrogacy and extolling “altruistic” surrogacy will be presented to the Council of Europe on Wednesday, 21 September by Petra De Sutter, transgender MP and Belgian gynaecologist (see GPA au Conseil de l’Europe : la Commission suspend sa procédure – Surrogacy at the Council of Europe: the Commission suspends its procedure-).

 

The “No Maternity Traffic” group denounces this distinction which actually masks real surrogacy issues. It has therefore submitted a petition with over 110,000 signatures to the Council of Europe, calling for abolition of surrogacy (see Admission de la pétition européenne No Maternity Traffic et propositions de loi françaises Submission of the No Maternity Traffic European Petition and French legal proposals).

 

For the group, this report is, first and foremost, an issue of personal interest since Petra de Sutter herself is “a surrogacy and MAP professional“, at Gand Hospital, but is also directly involved with “a commercial surrogacy business in India”.

 

Furthermore, the group denounces the misleading surrogacy approach which consists in  “renouncing the legalisation of surrogacy and condemning only commercial surrogacy whilst involving the interests of the child”. Petra de Sutter happily condemns the commercial nature of surrogacy but fails to challenge surrogacy per se. As the group reminds us, “the problem with surrogacy is surrogacy per se”. Because, in reality, there is no distinction between altruistic surrogacy and commercial surrogacy. It is a fictitious distinction aimed at  “restricting the moral evaluation of surrogacy to one of its secondary features, namely money”.  “Less expensive surrogacy is no less prejudicial or reprehensible”.

 

Finally, the fictitious opposition between commercial surrogacy and altruistic surrogacy sheds light on the difference between  “low-cost surrogacy in Eastern Europe versus premium surrogacy in Western Europe”. Consequently, condemning commercial surrogacy is tantamount to promoting premium surrogacy. 

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