Surrogacy Motherhood debated at the Council of Europe – are Human beings a commodity?


Human beings, a commodity?

Surrogacy Motherhood leads to commercialisation of women and children, prices for Surrogacy Motherhood can range from 76,000 to 171,000 US $.
Brussels, 18 November 2015

Surrogacy Motherhood leads to commercialisation of women and children, prices for Surrogacy Motherhood can range from 76,000 to 171,000 US $.

On Monday 23 November the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will meet in Paris. Among the items on the agenda is a report on Surrogacy Motherhood, “Human Rights and ethical issues related to surrogacy”.

This report is presented by Belgian Senator Petra de Sutter, gynaecologist by profession and head of the Department for reproductive medicine at the University Hospital of Gent, Belgium – one of four Belgian hospitals that practice surrogacy despite the lack of a legal framework for this in Belgium.
De Sutter expressed her opinion on the issue of Surrogacy Motherhood earlier this year in the Belgian newspaper La Libre on 3 February this year, stating that “I am in favour of a liberal regulation of surrogacy but accompanied by a ban on all forms of commercial surrogacy.”.

In 2011 the European Parliament adopted a resolution, where it asks “Member States to acknowledge the serious problem of surrogacy which constitutes an exploitation of the female body and her reproductive organs”.
Indeed, Surrogacy Motherhood is an exploitation of the woman’s body, and also an exploitation of the child which is the object of a transaction – whether commercial or “in natura”. In May, an event called “Men Having Babies” was held in Brussels. On their website the organisers provide a list with surrogacy clinics ratings, where the prices of this practice are readily available, ranging from 76,000 to 171,000 US $…

Furthermore, the child is deliberately deprived of his or her mother, although the Convention on the Rights of the Child stipulates that every child has “the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents.” (article 7.1). It goes without saying that a newborn cannot express his or her will but which child wants to be deliberately separated from their mother at birth?

The Council of Europe, the most ancient European organisation created for the promotion of human rights, should take a clear stand on this.

FAFCE invites the Members of the Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development Committee to consider this serious issue at length and protect the physical and mental integrity of women and children who are the victims of this practice.

Maria Hildingsson, Secretary General
Founded in 1997 the European Federation of Catholic Family Associations (FAFCE) holds a participatory status with the Council of Europe, is a member of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency Platform, and represents family associations from 15 European countries.

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