Health Care, Pregnancy, Family Formation and the Global ART Child

Mandating the purchase of federal health care has taken a defeating blow in the United States federal courts this week when the high-profile challenge to the reform law by more than twenty states has been adjudged to exceed congressional power in Florida v. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, No. 3:10-cv-91-RV/EMT (N.D. Fla. Jan. 31, 2011).  That same bill called the termination of babies (i.e. abortion) necessary funded health care.

Meanwhile, when the Washington Post carried an article last December on the global baby market, and the (ab)use of Indian women as gestational surrogates it was just a matter of time before the world community might realize the extent of the obstetric horizon.  But for the recent health care ruling, the notion of family has never been so confused, and so disconnected from the need for its own restoration.

Here's another take on that vista from the Ruth Institute ....
As millions around the world celebrated the birth of Jesus, Elton John and his partner, David Furnish, issued a press release announcing the birth of their baby boy, born on Christmas Day. Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, a healthy baby, was born through modern, assisted reproductive technologies (ART). Using an anonymous egg donor and a “gestational carrier” (I always think this term sounds more like a new form of aircraft—as in “the cargo just arrived on the newest gestational carrier.” Where is the feminist outrage?!) Elton and David fulfilled one of their greatest wishes: to be parents. They have now joined the ranks of the growing list ofcelebrities having babies via ART.
This got me thinking about another list I read a few years ago: the “Ten Best Chores to Outsource.” Expecting to see housecleaning, gardening and landscaping, pool cleaning, laundry, I was shocked and saddened by the number one “best chore to outsource”: pregnancy. From the Time piece:
Outsourcing brings to mind big factories and call centers. But entrepreneurs around the globe now offer services—from tutoring to sculpting a bust of your grandpa—to regular folks for a fraction of the cost in the West. Thought the world was flat before? Well, now you can hire someone in India to carry your child.
Entrepreneurs like Rudy Rupak, CEO of medical tourism agency Planet Hospital, are just another example of those who are hopping on the ART modern-family bandwagon. Rupak’s brokering business even offers what his company calls the “India Bundle,” an “affordable” package deal that gives would-be parents an egg donor, four surrogates for four embryo transfers, room and board for the surrogate during the pregnancy, and transportation services when the parents arrive in India to pick up the baby.

To read the entire article go to www.ruthinstitute.org.

1 comment:

  1. Egg donors aren't always treated well either, but it's a wholly overlooked area in the law. The documentary on eggsploitation.com is informative as to the occasional negative results from donating eggs and the monetary incentives that cause women to donate their eggs who would not otherwise consider doing so.