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Main : feminism, health, human rights, reproductive technology, Women

ISBN: 9781925581034
180 x 135 mm
224 pp
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Surrogacy: A Human Rights Violation
Renate Klein
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   Pared down to cold hard facts, surrogacy is the commissioning/buying/ renting of a woman into whose womb an embryo is inserted and who thus becomes a ‘breeder’ for a third party.

Surrogacy is heavily promoted by the stagnating IVF industry which seeks new markets for women over 40, and gay men who believe they have a ‘right’ to their own children and ‘family foundation’. Pro-surrogacy groups in rich countries such as Australia and Western Europe lobby for the shift to commercial surrogacy. Their capitalist neo-liberal argument is that a well-regulated fertility industry would avoid the exploitative practices of poor countries.

Central to the project of cross-border surrogacy is the ideology that legalised commercial surrogacy is a legitimate means to provide infertile couples and gay men with children who share all or part of their genes. Women, without whose bodies this project is not possible are reduced to incubators, to ovens, to suitcases. And the ‘product child’ is a tradable commodity who has never consented to being a ‘take away baby’: removed from their birth mother and given to strangers aka ‘intended parents’. Still, those in favour of this practice of reproductive slavery speak of ‘Fair Trade Surrogacy’ and ‘responsible surrogacy’. 

In Surrogacy: A Human Rights Violation Renate Klein details her objections to surrogacy by examining the short- and long-term harms done to the so-called surrogate mothers, egg providers and the female partner in a heterosexual commissioning couple. Klein also looks at the rights of children and compares surrogacy to (forced) adoption practices. She concludes that surrogacy, whether so-called altruistic or commercial can never be ethical and outlines forms of resistance to Stop Surrogacy Now. www.stopsurrogacynow.com

It is the global advertising campaigns that groom infertile couples and gay men that have led to the establishment of multibillion cross-border industries: money made literally from women’s flesh.

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...I found the entire book to be quite readable in regard to language and industry terminology, with the chapter on regulation as a slight exception. Readers may feel bogged down by listings of various conventions and committees with long winded names, but Klein does make sure to distill extended descriptions down to the key points, with helpful references to other sections of the book as their topics overlap.

...In addition to presenting a number of alarming stories and testimonials, Klein asks unsettling questions that must be considered when the answers affect human lives.

...“Surrogacy: A Human Rights Violation” attacks surrogacy from too many angles to cover here, but they all flow back to soundly support what Klein declares in the title. Commercialization, eugenics, entitlement; a dozen doors are opened for readers to pursue further research after this introduction.

... “Surrogacy: A Human Rights Violation” is not a personal attack or vendetta; it’s not a call to vote a certain way or endorse a certain person. At its core, this book strives to promote the rights and welfare of women and children, and that’s a cause that transcends party lines and international borders.

Read the full review here.
Hannah Ens, The Mercury
FEATURE: The suffering of surrogacy: A veteran feminist spells it out

In Surrogacy: A Human Rights Violation Dr Renate Klein dares to take on the surrogacy industry without begrudging but with plenty of sass and hard evidence. A dogged feminist academic and publisher for over thirty years, her critique of neoliberal capitalism is always underpinned by an authentic concern for women’s wellbeing and a focus on patriarchal structures.

...She never fails to point out the power differentials. She completely rejects surrogacy in all its forms.
...As a radical feminist and lesbian academic, Dr Klein’s views are not mainstream. Yet any reader will recognise that they are common-sense, based on women’s concrete experiences.
...Her radical approach is to uphold the dignity of women as whole and unique beings, and to expose and condemn the surrogacy industry as a patriarchal, neoliberal capitalist exploiter of women. This book is short but packs a punch and additionally is a good primer for those who want to learn more about how radical feminism, as distinct from liberal feminism, contributes to global social justice movements.

Read the full feature here.
Selena Ewing, www.mercatornet.com
Author Dr. Renate Klein, a co-founder of FINRRAGE (Feminist International Network of Resistance to Reproductive and Genetic Engineering), makes a firm case for why legal surrogacy and its associated fertility industries are morally unconscionable. Surrogacy: A Human Rights Violation fiercely criticizes the practice of surrogacy - that is, having a woman carry and give birth to a baby, in order to serve the reproductive needs of another person or persons, who will become the child's parent(s). Both "commercial surrogacy", where the surrogate mother is paid, and "altruistic surrogacy", where the surrogate mother is not compensated, are subject to the harshest scrutiny.

...Regardless of the reader's personal stance on the matter, Surrogacy: A Human Rights Violation deserves extended study and discussion, and is highly recommended for social issues shelves.

Read the full review here.
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief, Library Bookwatch January 2018

Table of Contents




Chapter 1: What is surrogacy?                                                      

Chapter 2: Short- and long-term harms of surrogacy                 

Chapter 3: What of the children born from surrogacy?              

Chapter 4: Can surrogacy be ethical?                                           

Chapter 5: Is regulation the answer?                                            

Chapter 6: Resistance – past and present                                    

Conclusion: Stop surrogacy now                                                  




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