Due to the move of the blog to Wordpress posts from Jan 2012 onward will have commenting disabled (when I remember to do it)
Cheers - AE

Monday, 24 January 2011

When do people get ownership of their own bodies back?

I ask only because New South Wales seems to have decided that it owns a bit more of its female citizens than it used to, and it's a part that I'd have imagined most women would have said is absolutely theirs and nobody else's.
From March in New South Wales, although not in Victoria, it will be a crime to enter into a commercial surrogacy agreement ... punishable by two years' jail and a $110,000 fine.
Yes, ladies of New South Wales, your government owns your uteruses. Well, what else do you call it when someone has the final say over the use of something if not ownership? And in fact it's not just the women living there that the NSW government doesn't like to have making money with their reproductive systems. From what I can see the law applies to NSW residents seeking a surrogate rather than the surrogate themselves, and this is to stop people hopping on a plane and paying a few thousand bucks to someone in India or elsewhere. Get caught at it and that $110,000 fine might blow anything being saved for the baby's future and then some, and that's assuming they don't simply jail the parents and take the baby into care. Not saying NSW would do that sort of thing but I suspect the childcatchers of the UK would.
"If we are banning commercial surrogacy in Australia why would we allow it to take place somewhere else?" [says Community Services minister Linda Burney]
I've got news for you, Linda. It's not your fucking choice to make. You lot get a say over New South Wales, and I'd suggest far too big a say already, but that's fucking it. You do not get to determine what people are allowed to do with their bodies in other states and you sure as hell don't get to in completely different countries.
... Linda Burney, introduced the legislation extending the ban on commercial surrogacy to overseas arrangements. She was concerned not just about poor women from third world countries being exploited...
And if it's entirely a personal choice with no exploitation involved, what then? You've just done some Indian woman out of a decent amount of money with which she could have done all sorts of things for her own family. She's not being held down and raped for this, she's being paid. Exploitation? You might see it that way but she might see it as a simple commercial arrangement that she's quite comfortable with, and might see laws brought in by some hand wringing white do-gooder projecting her own values as the actions of a patronising, spiteful, racist bitch who's still got a touch of the White (Wo)man's burden.
... but also about the welfare of the child, especially when the surrogates are also donating the egg.

"I believe very much that a child has an absolute right to know who they are and where they come from and that's not possible if they're a surrogate child from overseas."
It's not about what you believe but about what the parties involved believe. For what it's worth I'm kind of inclined to agree but it's not up to me either. Nor is it as simple as a child's right. Does the surrogate not have a right to take the money and just go if that happens to be what they want? Don't they have the right to state very clearly that they're not after a relationship but a cheque? Look, if they want to swap email addresses and have some kind of, I don't know what you'd call it, some semi-family abroad who send birthday cards and photos then fine. But if the surrogate actually wants to avoid that then what about her rights?

See the clash, Linda? Probably not because like so many politicians you are obsessed with rights and give no thought at all to liberties. If you lot just stayed out of the way then the child would naturally have the freedom to ask and to seek out the surrogate if that's what they want, who in turn would have the freedom to try to avoid being found, again if that's what they want. And vice versa. This isn't good enough for politicians who, in the interests of fairness and impartiality, tend to take sides without even realising they're doing it. And then they just fuck things up for everybody.

And do you know what the weirdest thing is? As the only place where even the street trade is almost entirely legal New South Wales has the most liberal prostitution laws of any Australian state. In short they have no problems at all with a woman using her vagina to make money, but if she starts thinking a few centimetres further up then the government steps in and takes over.

Not your womb. Theirs.
Related Posts with Thumbnails