About this surrogacy company…

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Bioethics has seeped into politics in the high profile constituency of Warringah in Sydney. Australia goes to the polls on May 21, the Liberal-National Party coalition for a fourth three-year term.

The election is mostly about economic management, but there are a number of other issues, particularly climate change, which will affect the outcome. In Warringah, a traditionally Liberal seat currently held by an independent, the game changer could be transgender rights and surrogacy.

Although relatively unknown, Liberal candidate Katherine Deves, co-founder of the pressure group Save Women’s Sport, was handpicked by Premier Scott Morrison. She strongly opposes the participation of trans women in women’s sports and opening women-only spaces for them.

Controversial candidate Katherine Deves / nswliberal.org.au/Katherine-Deves

That alone painted a big target on his candidacy. However, a treasure trove of 6,000 deleted tweets surfaced and provided more ammunition. One of her controversial ideas is opposition to commercial surrogacy. Here are some of his tweets:

  • “Surrogacy is an exploitation of women and a violation of human rights.”
  • “Gestation for surrogacy is a violation of human rights. Women’s bodies are not the vehicle of a vain project. (This was a comment on US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s announcement that he and his partner had had a child through surrogacy.)
  • “Surrogacy is reproductive prostitution. It is a blatant exploitation of women, both the woman whose egg is “harvested” and the pregnant woman who gives birth to the baby. Breaking up the mother-baby dyad is a catastrophic disruption of reproduction and normal human relationships.

Reaction to her views on transgender issues and surrogacy has been less than favorable. “I received death threats. I had to involve the police and the AFP. My safety has been threatened,’ Ms Deves told the media. “My family is away from Sydney because I don’t want them to witness what I’m going through nor do I want their safety put at risk.”

Sam Everingham, of Sydney-based surrogacy organization Growing Families, told the Sydney Morning Herald that Deves’ comments were “inflammatory”. “Hundreds of Australians enter into well-regulated surrogacy arrangements each year, many of them from his own constituency,” he said. “Ignorance breeds prejudice and discrimination.”

Mr Everingham may not be the best person to comment on Ms Deves’ election challenges. Her company has surrogate mothers in combat zones in Ukraine. He told The Telegraph (London) last month that he employed SWAT teams to extract their babies and hand them over to the intended parents. So much for those “well-regulated surrogacy arrangements.”

The fact is, surrogacy is a bad choice for poor women. The countries from which Mr. Everingham gets his surrogates – the United States, Ukraine, Georgia, Colombia, Mexico – are rich in poor women. How many women grow up dreaming of the day when they can carry someone else’s baby for money? How many Scarsdale, New York women does Mr. Everingham have on his books? From Knightsbridge, to London? From Rose Bay to Sydney?

Like prostitution, surrogacy values ​​women only for their bodies. It is not a prejudice; it is the premise upon which Mr. Everingham’s dangerous and destructive business model is based. Katherine Deves is absolutely right: surrogacy is exploitation.

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