Many theories have been formulated about commercial
surrogacy, which entails a contract in which a woman concedes to carry a child
for another person to whom she will relinquish the child when it is born. The
typical case involves where because of the infertility of the wife, a couple is
unable to raise their own biological child. Therefore, the couple undertake an
agreement with a woman (the surrogate) who will carry a child for them; the man
(the father) provides the sperm which will be used together with the
surrogate’s egg to produce a child! The partial surrogacy can be said to have
happened when the surrogate will carry this child to term and subsequently
relinquish it to the father and his partner (the recipient woman) . However,
the recipient woman may also pledge her eggs, manifesting the arrangement a Full
Surrogacy. There are cases where friends or family members carry children for
each other without charging a fee; however, a broker is appointed sometimes in order
to bring the interested parties together for a fee and both the surrogate and
broker are paid accordingly. The existing literature surrounding the commercial
surrogacy debate shows that there is a tendency, by those on both sides, to
compare surrogacy to prostitution.
This paper will highlight how this analogy is sufficiently decrepit
to undermine the arguments for which the authors intend it to outlook.
First, the analogy minimizes the anguish of prostitution, an
act that can present many predicaments, and at the same time, makes surrogacy-an
act which has less potential for harm seem worse than it actually is by hiding
the benefits and exposing only tenuous harms. Thus, the analogy does a
disservice to both surrogacy and prostitution.
Second, the analogy suggests, for some, that surrogacy should
be prohibited because of the negative connotations and stigma involved as a
woman cannot rationally choose surrogacy.
Commodification of the female’s uterus and/or eggs has
further been used to postulate against both surrogacy and prostitution. This
paper will touch briefly on the fact that commodification, while prevailing in
both surrogacy and prostitution, should not be viewed pessimistically. Because
of the involvement of exploitation and/or coercion, this paper will counter the
feud that as a policy matter, both surrogacy and prostitution should be
regulated or proscribed. This paper will conclude that while this proposition
may be true for prostitution in some circumstances, it is not veritable for
Similarities Between Surrogacy and Prostitution
This section will first monologue the views of those who
believe that surrogacy is homogeneous to prostitution, and thus should be enjoined.
Further it will discuss the view that surrogacy is akin to prostitution because
it dissipates women, and the belief that regulation is needed due to the
similarities between surrogacy and prostitution. Finally, the section will show
the arguments at the other end of the surrogacy debate which also analogize
surrogacy to prostitution.
One should note that while many have written that “most
feminists” see surrogacy as akin to prostitution, there are in reality few
who have written about the analogy and adopted it as their own belief; yet
these same few people are cited over and over for the view of “most
Since Surrogacy Is Like Prostitution, It Should Be Prohibited Because No
Woman Can Rationally Choose It
MacKinnon & Andrea Dworkin
Dworkin argues that surrogacy is akin
to prostitution as the surrogate lacks alternative. Queries regarding the legitimacy
of prostitution are argued by her, for instance whether a woman has a right to
infiltrate into contracts involving her body, where the state has fabricated
the economic, political and social situation in which the sale of some sexual
or reproductive capacity is incumbent to the survival of women; and somehow the
selling is seen to be an act of one’s own will.
She propounds that in this scenario,
the hospitals are the brothels and the panders are the doctors. Hefty fee is
also charged by the broker as he brings the contracting parties together, has
also been collated to a pimp.
She argues that there is absence of
free will but presence of force whether economic, social or political, as the
woman has to do whatever’s necessary to survive.
Another author highlights how the unavailability
of free choice in prostitution is the same as the exclusion of free choice in
She states that even though a woman
may desire to sell her sexual services, or to pose nude, or to rent her womb,
the exploitation and abuses inherent in these practices demonstrate that the decision
is hardly one of her choice.
The above argument proves how many
women are desperate as they chose to be vulnerable to certain maleficent risks
such as rape, degradation, AIDS and health risks associated with pregnancy ( in
order to bear or deliver another couple’s child ).