Spain

Feminist and pro-life groups agree in criticizing "surrogacy".

Omnes-May 5, 2017-Reading time: 4 minutes

An informative day on surrogacy has triggered protests from feminist groups and LGTBI collectives that see in this practice an exploitation of women.

-Enrique Carlier

It is curious, but on "surrogacy" two groups as ideologically distant as feminist organizations and LGTBI (lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual and intersex) groups, on the one hand, and pro-life associations, on the other, agree on the same thing: that it is a "surrogate motherhood" and that it is a "surrogate motherhood". "exploitation of women", however reproductive or altruistic it may be.

On May 6, a mobilization is planned by the State Network Against Surrogacy (comprising some 50 feminist groups) to protest against the so-called Surrofair fair in MadridThe event was organized by a consultancy on surrogacy in Ukraine.

Weeks before, representatives of this Network demanded from Madrid City Hall and the Autonomous Community of Madrid their duty of "prohibit this fair from taking place with the law in hand." "It would be like allowing a fair on drug trafficking." said Sonia Lamas, spokeswoman for the platform. They warned that surrogacy threatens women's rights, that "they are not cattle to satisfy the breeding desire of a few".. In addition, "clashes with the law in force and with the rights of the child".

Alicia Miyares, president of We Are Not VesselsThe surrogacy contract implies the renunciation of the right of the surrogate mother to "a fundamental right". of the pregnant woman to the filiation of the child and added: "Can you imagine a contract in which one of the parties irrevocably waives its right to vote?". It is not about "one more assisted reproduction technique". y "it is not comparable to egg donation", because here a human being is donated and "a creature is not donated".

She was also critical of an "altruistic" surrogacy: it would be a "altruistic" surrogacy. "cover". "What they want is a law, however restrictive, to register foreign-born children." because in Spain there are not many women willing to gestate for others.

Ramón Martínez, vice-president of We are different and on behalf of the LGTBI collectives, defended the adoption of children and stressed that "the solution to parenting is not to ride roughshod over women's rights".

For Elena Rábada, president of the Feminist Party, surrogacy "is very close to human trafficking networks". On the other hand, he questioned: "Why is organ trafficking unethical and surrogacy unethical?".

It is also original that these feminist groups and LGTBI collectives now use, to oppose surrogacy, the argument of pro-life associations to denounce the introduction of abortion.

The State Network Against Surrogacy says he is wary that the number of cases in Spain will reach a thousand: the figure will be inflated to make people believe that it is a social necessity.

Some relevant aspects

Talking to Elena Postigo Solana, PhD in Bioethics and coordinator of the Chair of Bioethics at the University of California, Berkeley, USA. Jerôme Lejeune Foundationhas clarified some aspects of "surrogacy". First of all, it would be better to speak of "surrogacy", because what is surrogated is the woman's gestation. And "surrogate motherhood" does not properly designate what happens, because it is not only the womb that is rented, but the whole person of the gestational carrier.

He points out that surrogacy is becoming a very lucrative business, which has generated the so-called "reproductive tourism" in developing countries.

Evidently, there is no right to the child that justifies a hypothetical right to surrogacy, and although it may respond to an initially altruistic motivation, surrogacy is often preceded by an agreement to pay compensation or to cover health care costs.

Current legal framework

Legally, the surrogacy contract in our country is considered null and void by Article 10 of Law 14/2006, of May 26, 2006, on assisted human reproduction techniques. The mother is the one who gives birth. The nullity of this contract is based on the dignity of the pregnant woman and the child, who cannot become an object of business; neither can their bodies.

In criminal terms, surrogacy is typified as a crime in article 221 of Organic Law 10/1995, of November 23, 1995, of the Penal Code. This law punishes those who, with financial compensation, give a child, descendant or any minor to another person, even if there is no relationship of filiation or kinship, avoiding the legal procedures of guardianship, foster care or adoption, with the purpose of establishing a relationship analogous to that of filiation. It carries a prison sentence of one to five years and four to ten years of disqualification for the exercise of parental authority, guardianship, guardianship or custody.

Despite this regulation, Spain has recognized surrogacy filiation by surrogacy from a judgment of the European Court of Human Rights of June 26, 2014. And the registration in the Civil Registry of a child born outside Spain through surrogacy is allowed based on the interest of the minor. But the prohibition on surrogacy has not been modified.

In other countries

Although in some countries such as Albania, Georgia, Croatia, the Netherlands, Russia, the United Kingdom, Greece and Ukraine surrogacy is legal, in the vast majority of European states it is prohibited. In addition to Spain, it is expressly forbidden in Austria, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and France. However, as has happened in Spain, the aforementioned judgment of the European Court of Human Rights has also led to the recognition of the right of surrogacy by surrogacy throughout the European Union.

It is partially tolerated in Belgium, Luxembourg, Poland or the Czech Republic. In Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Monaco, Romania, San Marino and Bosnia-Herzegovina there is no regulation expressly prohibiting this practice.

Outside Europe, it is recognized in seven states of the United States as well as in Mexico, Australia, India and Thailand. In the latter two countries, in order to limit reproductive tourism, governments prohibit surrogacy for foreigners.

According to Elena Postigo, the cost of surrogacy varies. In the United States, where annual surrogacy births have doubled in the last six years to nearly 2,000, renting the services of a surrogate costs $225,000; in India or Thailand, about $72,000. In the case of India, the world's largest surrogacy market, the surrogacy business generates 2.3 billion dollars a year.

Elena Postigo warns that surrogacy is always accompanied by fertilization in vitroThe medical, ethical and legal implications are very serious (e.g., the right of the child to know the paternity of the donor parent is violated). The medical, ethical and legal implications are very serious (for example, the right of the child to know the paternity of the donor parent is violated). For all these reasons, before legislating on this matter, it should be studied in detail, although he considers that such a practice should be prohibited, as other countries in our environment have done. n

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