Looks like we’ve found a REAL ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ story… and no, it isn’t the RIGHT that it is implicating.
Is this just another example of economic interests with deep pockets exploiting the vulnerability of poor women in other countries? Where is AOC decrying this exploitation of ‘women oour readers olor’?
Let’s use Yale’s observations about surrogate parenting in India as a benchmark against which we can compare this story about women being paid to intentionally get pregnant and then abort (emphasis added):
India legalized commercial surrogacy in 2002 and is one of the few countries where women can be paid for carrying another’s child. Women’s rights groups criticize the $400 million industry for exploiting poor women and endangering their health to produce babies for rich clients, mostly from other nations: “The low-cost technology, skilled doctors, scant bureaucracy and a plentiful supply of surrogates have made India a preferred destination for fertility tourism, attracting nationals from Britain, the United States, Australia and Japan, to name a few,” reports Reuters. A government-funded survey found that the surrogate mothers are not assured a standard rate of compensation or post-delivery health insurance. Proposed legislation would restrict surrogacy to women aged 21 to 35, with insurance, and a notarized contract with the commissioning parents. Critics suggest that too much regulation may hurt both prospective parents and also surrogates who earn a living through the industry. India now prohibits surrogacy for foreign same-sex couples and individuals. – YaleGlobal
And THAT story was centered around the exploitation of women proceeding through their pregnancy to its natural conclusion.
What about medical researchers hiring women in a macabre version of fetus farming?
An ethically dubious study in a hospital close to Puerto Vallarta pays them $1400 to have their ovaries hyperstimulated, causing the release of multiple eggs, which are then inseminated… not artificially in a lab, but with actual sperm.
Later, the pregnant women are then subjected to a procedure to ‘flush’ (the procedure is called ‘lavage’) the resulting still-viable embryos out of their wombs, to be used afterward for research or IVF.
The women also had to get injections of powerful hormones to stimulate their ovaries, which can pose some risk. In addition, some women underwent surgical or chemical abortions afterward, when tests indicated some of the embryos might not have been successfully removed.
“I think this research was unethical,” Zoloth says.
What about the ethics?
This “experiment” was very wrong on at least four fronts. First, it created human life for the purpose of experimenting upon it. Second, it paid women to have abortions (when all the embryos were not flushed). Third, it treated women as objects, merely as “a Petri dish,” to quote bioethicist Lorie Zoloth (with whom I have had my differences in the past, but not here). Fourth, hyperstimulation can have serious side effects, even leading to occasional death. Add in the likelihood that the women were very poor, and you have a real exploitive circumstance.
My friend, the bioethicist William Hurlbut of Stanford, calls experiments such as this “outsourcing ethics,” that is, scientists conduct immoral or questionable studies out of the country that would probably not be allowed — or dared — to be pursued in the United States.
What do you think?