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                                          Book of the Week


 Being and Being Bought: Prostitution, Surrogacy and the Split Self

by Kajsa Ekis Ekman


 

 

                                                               

 

The Age reports that a group of young South African women are due to arrive in Australia this month for an all-expenses paid trip of a lifetime – but there's a catch. They have to leave their eggs behind.

The fertile white women are coming to serve as egg donors for local IVF patients who are desperate for babies. The donors, aged 21-30 years old, will undergo day surgery at the clinic to collect their eggs, either via needles through the vaginal wall or laparoscopy under a light general anaesthetic. The eggs will then be fertilised and the embryos transferred into the Australian patients.

Australian IVF patients have paid $13,600 to the agency for fresh eggs from the donors, on top of their other IVF costs. The agency takes $3800, while the donors (who cannot be paid under Australian law) will receive up to $2500 to cover their living costs while here.

In Being and Being Bought: Prostitution, Surrogacy and the Split Self, Kajsa Ekis Ekman calls surrogacy an extended form of prostitution. In this capitalist creation story, the parent is the one who pays. The product sold is not sex but a baby. Ekis Ekman asks: why should this not be called child trafficking?

In her chapter Inside the Surrogacy Industry, Ekman writes: Unfortunately women are rarely compensated for this type of masochistic sacrifice.

As we read from this report of the South African women due to arrive in Australia shortly, they are not to be compensated for their eggs or the medical treatment involved.


 
 

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