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Assisted Reproduction

Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover

When I first saw the headline, “SurroGenesis rekindles my faith in humanity”, I blanched. But then I read Erin Marquis’ column in The Michigan Journal and found myself nodding in agreement. Marquis writes:

There are many ways to look at this story. The surrogates, being that they are doing a job they are not being paid for anymore, have every right to quit. Do not kid yourself, being pregnant is a job. Many of these women have no other means of supporting themselves because when you’re pregnant, it’s hard to do anything else than be pregnant. They change their whole lives around, quit jobs that might harm the fetus, and still have to go through expensive exams, tests and doctors visits. The only thing more expensive than being pregnant is actually having the baby. One of the surrogates was even served with an eviction notice.

Except in this case, quitting the job means aborting someone else’s baby. It means a dream denied, a last chance lost. While the parents continued to pay in good faith that their thousands of dollars were going to lead to a happy surrogate and a healthy child the company failed them. The company can’t make the choice for the surrogates or the families. Just the surrogates can.

While I believe 100 percent in a woman’s right to control her own reproductive fate, I am in awe of the decision that these surrogates have made. While some families have been able to pick up the payments, the ones who couldn’t won’t be losing their long awaited child. That’s because not one of the surrogate mothers are going to abort their babies. Through the goodness of their hearts, they are all going through with it, at great personal cost.

I’m neither a romantic, nor a big believer in the “mommy” myth. However, these women made me proud of humanity, which is hard to do in these dark days. Their selflessness and courage is remarkable. While life would be easier in the long run if the surrogates just ‘quit’ they’re seeing it through to the bitter end. It speaks to the basic truth that just because our financial system is crashing, our ability to look beyond our own pressing problems to something bigger than ourselves remains intact.


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