On Friday 24 June, the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade by a 5-4 vote, ruling that there is no longer a federal constitutional right to abortion.
To implement this decision, each state must pass its own abortion legislation. Abortion rights organisations worked out that between 22 and 26 of the 50 states ban or will ban abortion.
All these states prohibit or make illegal abortion pretending to protect “the unborn child”; sometimes to the detriment of the mother’s health or even life. Nowhere do legislators consider the well-being of pregnant women, nor the risks they run by carrying an unwanted pregnancy.
But these states which now prohibit abortion are also those which, like almost all American states, accept and legalise surrogacy, for the benefit of a huge reproduction market, in the interest of wealthy clients, who thus buy children (by contract, they exchange money for the handing over of a child and its parentage link, which corresponds to the sale of children).
Under US surrogacy contracts, the first payment is made to the surrogate mother when the first heartbeat of the foetus is recorded. The child that a surrogate mother gives birth to already “belongs” to the commissioning parents as soon as the embryo is inseminated.
For US legislators, when it comes to surrogacy the relationship between the child and the woman who gives birth to is taken for granted, nor does her pregnancy and delivery. The commissioning parents, on the other hand, are entitled to any rights, including the right to impose an embryo reduction or abortionon her, as well as the type and timing of the delivery. By contract, she is deprived of her decision-making capacity and autonomy.
The prohibition of women’s access to abortion and the legalisation and promotion of surrogacy both stem from the same vision of women as containers of “unborn children”. A retrograde, reactionary, misogynistic, dehumanising and unacceptable vision which is shared by legislators in the United States and in many other countries.
The International Coalition fo the Abolition of Surrogate Motherhoodcondemns the US Supreme Court’s decision, and the negative consequences it is already having for American women who need to undergo an abortion.
We wish to warn the public of the intrinsic link between the development of surrogacy and the ban on abortion. The two go hand in hand and are part of the same attack on women’s rights and health.
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