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For the benefit of surrogacy, are we going to give birth to dead women?


FIGAROVOX/TRIBUNE - The co-presidents of the "International Coalition for the Abolition of Surrogacy" react to the article by a researcher in philosophy, Anna Smajdor, who proposes to set up "gestational gifts of the whole body". They denounce a serious violation of human dignity.

Ana-Luana Stoicea-Deram is a sociologist and, with Marie-Josèphe Devillers, co-president of the


International Coalition for the Abolition of Surrogacy



In her article "Whole-body gestational donation", philosophy researcher Anna Smajdor of the University of Oslo suggests using brain-dead women as surrogate mothers.

Surprised to note that no jurisdiction has considered implementing the proposal already made in 2000 by another researcher, to use women in a persistent vegetative state in this way, Smajdor takes it up and expands it to provide a solution to the problems moral and legal posed by surrogacy.

According to her, states and health systems should adapt their policies and procedures, in order to allow

“gestational whole body donation”

as one donation option among others.

Read alsoIs the European Commission preparing an authorization for surrogacy in Europe?

Based on the observation that "

there is no obvious medical reason why it would not be possible to initiate such pregnancies

", Smajdor considers that it is preferable to use women in a state of brain dead, rather than in a persistent vegetative state, because brain death is irreversible, and organ donation is already practiced on people in this state.

It also proposes that the

"gestational whole body donation"

be accessible to anyone who wants to "

avoid the risks and constraints associated with the gestation of a fetus in his own body.

» ;

and to increase the number of potential donors, that brain-dead men can also carry pregnancies.

The two main counter-arguments examined by the researcher are that "

these gifts do not save lives and that they can reify the female reproductive body


The interest and the good of a woman thus used, even if she were brain dead, are considered non-existent.

Ana-Luana Stoicea-Deram and Marie-Josèphe Devillers

She sweeps away these objections.

The donation would not always be vital because donations of non-vital organs (cornea, arm, uterus) are already widely accepted.

Even more, the "gestational whole body gift" would have the merit of effectively allowing the creation of a new life.

As for the objectification of women's reproductive bodies, the researcher admits that the type of donation she envisions is simply the use of the body as a container for the fetus.

And to mitigate possible feminist criticism, she suggests the use of brain-dead men;

because, even if the fatal risk is very high concerning them, it does not matter since

"the surrogate is already dead"


Refuting these meager objections thus authorizes him to affirm that the “gestational whole body donation” would be a simple means for a surer reproduction, which avoids the moral problems raised by the GPA.

Read alsoAziliz Le Corre: “GPA, despite the good intentions of some, is it modern slavery?”

Smajdor's thinking is full of lessons for anyone interested in human rights and women's rights.

The philosopher says she is engaging in a reflection on the ethics of what she presents as a donation, which she compares with the donation of organs.

However, it chooses to ignore the “Convention on human rights and biomedicine” (Oviédo Convention), which stipulates that “

the interest and the good of the human being must prevail over the sole interest of society or science


The interest and the good of a woman thus used, even if she were in a state of brain death, are considered to be non-existent, or less important than those of the sponsors.

The term "gift" leads one to believe that a woman's entire body is given, which would amount to asserting that it belongs (that the woman belongs) to the sponsors.

Ana-Luana Stoicea-Deram and Marie-Josèphe Devillers

As for referring to the proposed process as "gestational whole body donation", and comparing it to organ donation, this poses several problems.

In organ donation, an organ is transferred from one person's body to another.

It is to save a life or to improve the recipient's health or quality of life.

Nothing of the sort in a “gestational gift”.

The formula is hollow and leads nowhere.

Gestation is a process that occurs in the body of female viviparous animals;

women carry pregnancies.

As a physiological process, gestation cannot be given (neither ceded nor transferred);

to attempt to suggest it by a falsely metaphorical formula is intellectually dishonest,

especially when asking for meaningful political action to overcome moral problems.

The gestational gift not only does not exist, but it cannot exist.

Pregnancy is a process

“both biological and biographical”

(Sylviane Agacinski);

it is not detachable from the one who lives it.

Moreover, sponsors of children by GPA do not order a pregnancy, but a child.

Finally, the term "gift" leads one to believe that a woman's entire body is given, which would amount to asserting that it belongs (that the woman belongs) to the sponsors - as a donated eye belongs to the person who gives it. 'has received.

Except that a human being cannot belong to another, except as a slave.

Read alsoThe war in Ukraine moves GPAs to France

The "gestational gift of whole body" also says the hierarchy of priorities of the philosopher and those who publish it.

The ethical issues raised by surrogacy must be avoided;

while the desire for a child of people who do not want or cannot carry a pregnancy must be satisfied at all costs.

To consider having brain-dead men carry pregnancies to appease feminist critics who are more likely to accept women being used as “surrogate” mothers is farcical.

It is not because an abjection made to women, would also be made to men, that it would be less serious and unacceptable.

But seeking by all means to legitimize surrogacy is possible only because it is based on the exploitation of women, disguised by patriarchy as a gift.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-02-13

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