For a while, I’d been wanting to watch the documentary “Big Fertility“, by the Center for Bioethics and Culture (CBC), which was released on 17 September 2018. I was mainly curious.
I finally got around to it today. I watched the puzzling trailer this morning – It’s all about the money – and it intrigued me so much that I rented the video from Vimeo.
This documentary features Kelly Martinez, her husband and the director of the CBC as well as Kelly’s doctor during her last surrogacy.
Kelly has earlier addressed the United Nations, as is mentioned in the documentary. This took place on 15 March 2017.
She also went to Spain. I found an article in Spanish newspaper El Pais of 24 February 2017 that mentions her and discusses the problem of gestational surrogacy. It’s not allowed in Spain, but that does not stop people who have lots of money.
- The issue of surrogacy needs to be resolved globally, and as soon as possible, as many others have been saying for a long time. Some surrogacies go fine, but many don’t – and the victims are often the babies, for example when they can’t travel from the countries in which they were born or when people who bought a pregnancy change their mind.
- As Dr Diehl (Kelly’s doctor) explains in the documentary, physicians are currently left in limbo. They are faced with making decisions for which there is (often) no legal framework yet (depending on state/country), which can expose them to lawsuits. An example he gives is the situation that a surrogate does not want vaccinations, while the person who bought the pregnancy does.
- If it were up to me, surrogacy would be banned altogether. Babies are not products. (Nobody knows what happened to the two boys Kelly produced during her third and final surrogacy.)
- Thankfully, with the soon expected advent of artificial uteruses – incubation pods for embryos (yes, we will have something like this; there is no doubt in my mind about this and they’ve already been used successfully for sheep – the problem will disappear, at least as far as the surrogates are concerned and to some degree also as far as the babies are concerned.
- I am reminded of Michael Sandel’s words about the effects of various practices on inclusive solidarity. What’s technologically possible is not by definition mandatory. It is not at all a matter of choosing between nature or science and technology, as some suggest.
I believe that truly altruistic cases or surrogacy will not be stopped by bans but it would curb the predominantly negative instances and effects of gestational surrogacy. In my own family, there is a case of one family giving one or their babies to another couple that could not conceive. It concerned two siblings and their spouses and happened many decades ago.