Expecting Trouble: Surrogacy, Fetal Abuse, and New Reproductive Technologies

By Patricia Boling | Go to book overview

then explains why they are inadequate given the unique relationship between mothers and the fetuses they carry and give birth to. She argues for allowing women to voluntarily bear a child for someone else, so long as there is no pay or contractual enforceability. Shanley's essay next moves beyond surrogacy issues to challenge the narrowly libertarian version of liberalism that ignores social relationships of interdependence and dependence and supposes that we all enter and leave relationships freely, the way we make contracts. She argues that the relationships between mother and fetus and mother and baby call into question the market model of freely made, revocable agreements between self-possessing individuals.

Uma Narayan's essay, The 'Gift' of a Child: Commercial Surrogacy, Gift Surrogacy, and Motherhood (Chapter 10), finds that many of the objections commentators have raised with regard to commercial surrogacy also apply to situations where surrogacy is carried out altruistically, for example on behalf of family members. Narayan thinks reproduction in the various contexts of heterosexual marriage, gift surrogacy, and commercial surrogacy have a lot in common: often women are dependent emotionally and financially, look to motherhood to validate themselves as persons, and have few other options for meaningful work and roles. Turning to legal regulation of surrogacy, Narayan considers various alternatives and ends up arguing for permitting both gift and commercial surrogacy and treating all disputes over children who result from such arrangements as custody disputes. She defends this approach on the grounds that it will help empower women and protect the multiplicity of interests -- those of the birth mother, the contracting parents, and the child -- that are at stake in surrogacy arrangements.

Expecting Trouble focuses on the "reproductive rights" issues of the 1990s and is a crucial outgrowth of and addition to earlier work done on abortion 4 and the problems posed by contraception and sterilization abuse. 5 The essays provide a range of different theoretical sensibilities and concerns and are grounded in recent developments in the issue areas treated here. This book should prove an excellent resource, either in the classroom or for research, for those interested in learning about the policy debates being generated by reproductive technologies, fetal abuse, surrogacy, approaches courts have taken thus far in prosecutions of substance-abusing pregnant women, and the moral, philosophical, and theoretical dimensions of differing approaches to these political and policy issues.


Notes
1.
For an insightful discussion of the need to understand technologies that speak to a desire to help us escape the human Condition of embodied life on earth, see Hannah Arendt's discussion of Sputnik and other technological breakthroughs in the Preface to The Human Condition ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1958).

-7-

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Expecting Trouble: Surrogacy, Fetal Abuse, and New Reproductive Technologies
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • Notes 7
  • 2 - The Tailor-Made Child: Implications for Women and the State 9
  • Notes 19
  • References 21
  • 3 - Fetal Personhood: Political Identity Under Construction 25
  • Notes 44
  • References 51
  • 4 - Fetal Endangerment Versus Fetal Welfare: Discretion of Prosecutors in Determining Criminal Liability 55
  • Notes 75
  • References 79
  • 5 - A Gender Analysis of Policy Formation: the Case of Fetal Abuse 85
  • Notes 103
  • References 104
  • 6 - Punishment, Treatment, Empowerment: Three Approaches to Policy for Pregnant Addicts 109
  • Notes 126
  • References 131
  • 7 - The Aclu Philosophy and the Right to Abuse the Unborn 135
  • Notes 140
  • 8 - The Trope of the Dark Continent in the Fetal Harm Debates: "Africanism" and the Right to Choice' 142
  • Notes 152
  • 9 - "Surrogate Mothering" and Women's Freedom: a Critique of Contracts for Human Reproduction 156
  • Notes 171
  • References 174
  • 10 - The "Gift" of a Child: Commercial Surrogacy, Gift Surrogacy, and Motherhood 177
  • Notes 196
  • References 200
  • About the Contributors 203
  • About the Book 205
  • Index 207
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