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Surrogacy and the law

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

The Irish Times

Rev PATRICK G BURKE

A chara, – It is interesting that Dr Brian Tobin begins his article “Pre-birth judicial approval model could be the surrogacy solution” (Opinion & Analysis, March 21st) by mentioning Sweden’s proposed total ban on the practice and then continues by speculating as to how Ireland might go about legalising it without once ever returning to why Sweden, often lauded as one of the most liberal democracies in the western world, wants nothing to do with it.

The conclusion of the Swedish inquiry, expected to be made law later this year, was that both commercial and altruistic surrogacy should be banned within its jurisdiction and steps taken to prevent their citizens from commissioning babies from clinics abroad.

Why? Essentially because it is an industry involved in the buying and selling of human life; it treats babies like commodities and women like incubators. The European Parliament has called for it to be banned in all forms. A charter calling for its universal ban was recently launched in France by a group of female intellectuals, scholars, and economists, calling it an injustice and an oppression against the poor as it is most often poor women in developing countries who end up having their bodies exploited by this industry.

The rest of the world is waking up to the fact that this business is an odious one that, under all the fluff and hype, is engaged in making a profit by selling babies even as it exploits women to produce its product.

Ireland needs to wake up also and, instead of looking to ways to legalise it, should instead be exploring avenues as to how we may best outlaw it. – Is mise,

Rev PATRICK G BURKE,

Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny.