I want to hear the ethical analysis of this messy situation from abortion advocates/apologists/activists/feminists. In fact, I can hardly wait.
Melissa Cook is a surrogate mother whom a man paid $33,000 to have his child by in vitro fertilization, using his sperm and the eggs of a 20-year-old donor. The 47-year-old California woman was implanted with three embryos, a not infrequent approach, but when all three developed normally and apparently healthily, the birth father began to freak out. He didn’t want three kids, only two at most, and directed Cook to have one aborted. When she refused, he began threatening her with threats of financial penalties if she did not comply with his demands that she undergo a one-third abortion.
Now a lawsuit has been filed by Cook’s lawyers challenging the surrogacy contract with the biological father, and the California law that supports it. I’ll let the courts hash that one out. What I’m interested in is this: what is being argued about here? Is that newly spawned triplet a baby, as the gestating-by-contact mother claims? Is it just a potential, wart-like annoyance as the birth father says? Who should have the right to kill it? Cook’s not entirely a mother, is she? Could she choose to abort the triplet, or all of them? I’m guessing not, even though it is “her body.” Still, as long as the triplets are part of her body, they have only the status of leeches or tumors, right? That’s what I get from the rhetoric of the Planned Parenthood execs; I mean, I could be wrong.
So if the fact that it’s her body having to nurture the trio of tiny parasites doesn’t give her the right to kill them, why would she have the right not to kill them, since her womb is now the equivalent of a rented, furnished apartment? Then again, surely we can’t have a man forcing a woman to have an abortion since…well, it isn’t her body, exactly is it? Not the baby-making part anyway–he contracted to have control of that part. She made a deal, fair and square, signed and sealed. Right?
I’m so confused. I’m sure, though, a well-versed abortion-on-demand advocate can explain it all to me.
How relatively easy it would be if we only had some basic ethical principles involved, rather than constantlymanipulated legal concepts. Principles like…
- Regardless of contracts, an embryo belongs to the woman gestating it, and nobody else but she can decide how to treat it, until it is old enough to be protected by the law, and born.
- Nobody can make a woman have an abortion. Pressuring a woman to have one using tangible threats of any kind is unethical.
- A woman who chooses to keep a baby put there by someone else is liable for the fee and the cost incurred by the foiled parents, but no other penalties will attach.
- Aborting a fetus for no good reason other than the fact that a parent doesn’t want to care for the child is unethical. Such children should be made available to couples who want an infant and can’t have one on their own.
- Surrogacy is not inherently unethical, but buyer beware.
Applying these few principles makes this tailor-made-for-a-Lifetime Movie-starring-Jodie Davis mess an easy call. Dad has to shut up and pay up. He gets all three kids, if he wants them. He has to take two of the three—maybe he should decide which ones are cutest. The third belongs to the birth mother, or, if she doesn’t want it, is offered for adoption.
And that lucky triplet who didn’t get aborted?
Why, she grows up and cures cancer, of course.
Pointer: ReNae Bowling