Earlier today I was sent a link to a blog of a woman named “Ashley” who is acting as a surrogate mother. She says she is around 20 weeks pregnant with the child of another couple, and recently found out that the child suffers from some abnormalities.
What those abnormalities are Ashley herself did not say, but the person who forwarded the link to me said it was cleft lip and palate – a minor condition that can be surgically remedied after birth.
Cleft lip is a condition that can be easily remedied with surgery.
But now the parents of the child have demanded that Ashley abort the child. In a heartrending post Ashley laments that the parents have decided that the baby she is carrying is not “good enough” and are pressuring her to undergo the trauma of a late-term abortion – from which Ashley wonders if she would recover. She also says that the parents have told her that they will “try again” with another surrogate.
So, who's going to raise the baby when he's born? The lady who took the money to be his incubator and give him away deliberately, or the parents who pressured her to get an abortion and terminate his life?
Yeah I want to see that court battle. "Well your honour, we did want to terminate his life before he was born, but now that he is born, we might as well get some use out of him, we paid thousands to have him."
"It's true, I did have a contract to bear this child, and I didn't really want to raise him before the abortion issue, but now that they suggested abortion, he's mine!"
Why is this even legal?
I say we pass a law making every woman who bears a child the legal mother, and no contract can invalidate that relationship until the mother decides to terminate her parental rights after birth. This would be the case no matter whose gametes are used to conceive the child.
UPDATE: Friday, Feb. 17, 2012 2:16 PM:
Yesterday I wrote about a surrogate mother who is being pressured into aborting the child she is carrying by the child’s biological parents, because the child suffers from some abnormalities. I explained that I first learned of her case when I was directed to a blog authored by a woman named Ashley in which she lamented her plight, and that I also found a recent post on BabyCenter by the friend of a woman whose circumstance sounded nearly identical to Ashley’s (and that I thought therefore probably was about Ashley).
However, new information indicates that in fact there are TWO women who are currently being pressured to abort because the child they are carrying suffers from abnormalities. In on case case the baby reportedly suffers from cleft lip and palate, potential heart problems, and perhaps Down syndrome. What the abnormalities are in the case of the other woman - ‘Ashley’ - isn’t clear, although the person who drew my attention to the link said it was cleft lip and palate.
I have already spoken to a lawyer with a large law firm who has offered to represent Ashley at no cost, and who has said that he is confident that any contract that would involve punishment for breach of contract under these circumstances could be invalidated in court. Undoubtedly the firm would willingly offer the same for this other woman. And I know that other pro-life organizations would offer whatever help necessary.
Gee, surrogacy leading to more abortions. Who knew.