Rent a womb

Rent a womb

I met several people who did not know the meaning of the word surrogacy. It is one of those technical words used in such a way as to make something negative palatable to decent people, if not look downright positive. Surrogacy means nothing but the renting of one’s womb, generally for commercial reasons but sometimes for other reasons, to bear a child for someone else.

It works in different ways.

A couple who cannot have children will hire a woman to carry their child. This can be done by the insemination of the hired woman by the semen of the husband of the couple or by sperm which one can buy. In other cases a couple can utilise the women’s ovum and the male’s sperm, fertilise them in vitro and implant them in a hired woman. After nine months they collect the baby.

Surrogacy is nothing but another facet of the tendency of neo-liberal capitalism to commoditise everything, including intimate human relationships.

In Malta we have already had the commodification of citizenship. The only relation between these mercenary citizens and our country is their money. Government recently proposed to commoditise sex through the opening of sex shops.

Now the Nisa Laburisti want government to explore the possibility of womb renting, or surrogacy. When one considers all the proposals they made to the Inter-Ministerial IVF Review Working Committee it is very clear that they want government to do it and not just to explore it.  

Fortunately the reaction of the Archbishop was expeditious. In a tweet he said:

"We respect a woman's womb as quasi sacred. Let us not turn it into another commodity whether for free or for money."

Womb renting aka surrogacy should be opposed by all those who have at heart the dignity of the human person. It is ironical that the debasing of human dignity is perversely considered by some as something progressive.

The Archbishop reacted only to one aspect of the submission by the Nisa Laburisti – one cannot do more in a tweet.

There are other very objectionable aspects which betray their frame of mind. The Church has already made submission to the Inter-Ministerial Commission though the presentation made by a high powered delegation. It has now set up a commission of expert to write a position paper.

I hope that just as the expert position paper on the vilification of religion was published the same would be done to this paper on possible changes to the Embryo Protection Act. It simply does not make sense to write such papers and then not publish them.


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