“An Unrelated Gestational Carrier.” The Real Handmaid’s Tale

“An Unrelated Gestational Carrier.” The Real Handmaid’s Tale July 17, 2014

Margaret Atwood wrote a gripping novel back in 1985 called The Handmaid’s Tale.

The main character, Offred, is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, a totalitarian and theocratic state that has replaced the United States of America.

Handmaids are walking wombs, child bearers for elite couples. Offred services the Commander and his wife Serena Joy, who is a former gospel singer and advocate for “traditional values.”

Every month in her fertile period, Offred is required to have impersonal, wordless sex with the Commander while Serena sits by, holding her hands. The Republic of Gilead is what America has become after the takeover of our nation by the theocrats. Offred, as a former adulteress and the daughter of a feminist, is consigned to the role of Handmaid in this ugly new world.

The Handmaid’s tale was an obvious allegorical critique of the rising influence of the newly-politicized Christian conservatives of that era. It was aimed, in particular, at the pro life/pro family movement. It was also a powerful work of fiction by a talented writer.

Flash forward 30 years, and it appears that the Handmaid’s tale was not so much allegory as it was prophecy, once removed. Women today are being reduced to their bodily functions and used as breeders and most of our society seems to be in support of it. Babies are created to be sold and then they actually are marketed and sold, on-line and through international outlets.

America, which has been termed the “Wild West” of commercialized reproduction, has become a magnet for baby-buyers the world over.

In addition, women are kept in what amounts to baby farms in certain third world countries and used for breeders. The babies are then sold overseas in what, in India alone, is a $2.3 billion dollar industry.

That’s the prophecy part of The Handmaid’s Tale. Women have indeed been reduced to breeders, their human rights held forfeit to rapacious industrialized medicine that operates without conscience. In addition, babies, as well as women, are reduced to chattel in this market as they are created and then sold and bought like any other manufactured product.

The once-removed part of The Handmaid Tale’s prophetic prescience lies in who is committing and promoting this crime against humanity. It is not, as Margaret Atwood wrote, the evil “traditional values” people and Gospel singers who are designing babies for sale by harvesting women’s ovaries, and then using women as wombs to carry these babies which are then sold for astronomical amounts on the open market.

The culprits here are corporatist medicine, wealthy elites and homosexuals who are willing to destroy the basic human rights of women and children to feed the fantasy that they are not what they happen, in fact, to be. Homosexual couples are two men or two women, or for that matter, several men or several women, whose sexual activity takes place between other people of their own sex. Their sexual activity can not create life.

Anyone who condemns this wholesale degradation of half the human race alongside the bartering and selling of human beings, is immediately labeled a religious fanatic, a homophobe, uncaring, cruel and indifferent to the longing for a family that same sex couples experience. There is a phrase to describe this intellectually dishonest bullying: The phrase is emotional blackmail.

Let’s take the debate about those accusations — at least as far as I’m concerned — off the table right now.

If standing for the human rights of women and children,

if opposing the buying and selling of people,

if the speaking against the creation of human beings for commerce,

if opposing the crass reduction of half the human race to their body parts in a manner that not only degrades them as human beings but endangers their health and lives,

means that I’m a homophobe or a religious fanatic, then so be it. If that’s what religious fanaticism and homophobia stands for, every person with a conscience should be a homophobe and a religious fanatic.

Misogyny is so rife in our society that people who dare to speak out against this violation of the human rights of women and children are subjected to death threats, as well as labeled bigots.

Meanwhile, the media churns out puffy little pieces extolling the virtues of buying and selling women and babies. Consider, as a for-instance, a recent article from The Daily Mail. This article informs us that “For two first-time fathers, the fact that their son, Milo, was born during World Pride was just the icing on the cake.”

The article goes on to tell us that the woman who birthed this baby is “an unnamed gestational carrier.” It concludes with the soppy statement that “love has no color nor gender nor sexual preference. Love is unconditional.”

Uh-huh. According to one article I read, it costs around $160,000 to purchase a baby created by using women as breeders. The article is a couple of years old, so it’s probably higher now. I don’t want to rain on anybody’s parade, but that is soooo conditional. It also has nothing to do with love. It is about exploitation and reducing human beings to chattel. It is The Handmaid’s Tale, come to life.

 

The Handmaid’s Tale as allegory. 


 

The Handmaid’s Tale in real life.

 

America has become the go-to place for people wanting to buy designer babies. As a recent New York Times article put it, “the market for children crosses national borders.”

In the Wild West of using reproductive technologies to create, sell and buy people, it appears that the market is totally laissez faire. In this case, it’s the seller who should beware.

Consider, for instance, the case of The View co-host Sheri Shepherd. According to a recent LifeNews article, Ms Shepherd and her soon-to-be-former husband joined the growing group of high-profile celebrities who have purchased their babies rather than give birth to them themselves. Now that her marriage is on the fritz, Ms Shepherd has decided that she wants nothing to do with the baby whose creation she purchased.

I would assume that Ms Shepherd and her husband paid in advance, so the important considerations are covered.

Right?

I mean, it’s not like we’re creating, selling and buying people. 

 

I can attest from personal experience as a legislator that the practice of commercialized harvesting of young women’s bodies for eggs is protected with the full force of the Oklahoma State Medical Association, as well as the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. I can also attest that some pro life groups avoid the issue for fear of putting Republican legislators on the hot seat by forcing them to chose between their pro life commitments and these special interest groups.

The American Civil Liberties Union has also come out in support of commercial egg harvesting, on the laughable grounds that laws that forbid doctors to use large payments as inducements to young girls to undergo egg harvesting are somehow a violation of “women’s rights.” I imagine the ACLU would carry a lot of clout in some states, but in Oklahoma, their opposition was of no importance to the outcome of the legislation.

The practice of paying young women large sums of money to have their ovaries harvested,

the practice of paying women large sums of money to carry babies and then forfeit them,

the practice of creating designer babies for the purpose of selling them

should be illegal.

Any doctor who does this should lose their license to practice medicine and be subject to civil lawsuits without limit. Any medical facility that allows this on its premises should lose its license to continue as a licensed medical facility and also be subject to lawsuits without limit.

If people want to do this without pay, that should be treated differently. I do not approve of it, but it is not the obvious and egregious violation of the human rights of women and children that commercialized, industrialized egg harvesting and surrogacy are. It should be heavily regulated with stiff safeguards for the rights of women and the babies.

Among other things, women should have the right to change their minds about giving the baby away. Also, anyone who contracts for a baby — and remember, I am talking about private, unpaid arrangements, not wholesale industrialized baby manufacturing and selling — should be subject to the same requirements as adoption, including home inspections, parental fitness and a waiting period with site visits before the adoption is finalized. The process should be an adoption. Not buying a child.

Children should have the right to know who their biological parents are and a cause of action against the doctors, medical facilities and others involved in their creation.

The health and welfare of women who are involved in being surrogates or donating eggs, and also the health and welfare of the babies, should be the first consideration under the law. The law should require under severe penalty that the doctor consider the woman’s health first and not just use them to make as many eggs as possible.

I want to emphasize again that I am only talking about entirely voluntary, non-paid situations in which women are not compensated for undergoing egg harvesting and or surrogacy and the babies are not sold.

Commercial selling and buying of women’s bodies to harvest for eggs or for use as surrogates should be illegal. Creating babies to sell or buy should also be illegal. 

Soppy claims about how happy it makes people to be able to buy and sell other human beings and violate their inherent human rights have no place in this discussion.

 

The doctors and medical facilities should receive no monies except for customary and normal remuneration for these activities as a medical procedure. There should never be advertising for the creation, buying and selling of human beings, or the exploitation of a whole class of human beings.

People who contract for the creation of a child should be obligated to provide life-long care for that child and for any injury resulting to the woman or women who provide eggs or wombs as a result of their donor or surrogacy status. By life long, I mean if the woman is infertile (a common complication of egg harvesting) or gets cancer as a result of the massive doses of hormones, even if it’s 20 years later, they have to pay.

The obligation to provide for the care of the child should be life-long, regardless of the any birth defects or other problems. It should include an irrevocable share in the contractee’s estate.

I want to emphasize that these ideas for regulation only apply to voluntary, non-paid situations. The buying and selling of human beings, as well as the use of women as farm animals and breeders for money should be absolutely and completely illegal. It is anathema that our society has fallen so low that we have to debate this. 

We need to shut down the commercial baby creating/selling/buying industry that exploits and dehumanizes women and reduces babies to chattel. 

The reason this has not happened is due to the political clout of organizations, such as various Chambers of Commerce who see this “industry” as a money maker and to the machinations of the Medical Associations who are entrusted with the power to “regulate” the members of their profession. The social bullying by gay rights organizations and faux feminists who work against women also helps to keep this practice going.

I believe that Medical Associations’ support of what is a massive human rights violation of half the human race, as well as the reduction of human beings to the level of chattel, makes a joke of the claim that they “regulate” the medical profession. If the medical associations will not regulate their own, and if they continue to use their political clout to support this practice, I, for one, think we should take a long hard look at eliminating their power to regulate the medical profession.

I would encourage business owners and physicians who are members of these organizations to get involved. Are your dues being used to support the Wild West of industrial reproductive technology? Are you writing checks that hire lobbyists who work in your name to continue this attack on the human rights of women and babies?

Demand that your professional organizations follow legislative goals that support human dignity, rather than exploit and degrade whole classes of people.

Margaret Atwood wrote a gripping allegorical novel describing the use of women as breeders in a world that was controlled by what she evidently saw as the great satan of her time: Supporters of “traditional values.”

In our time the real Handmaid’s Tale is being promoted by the media and lived out by elites who don’t want to go through having children the old way and homosexuals who want to pretend that their unions are not sterile. The promotion of this clear-cut violation of the human rights of women and babies by commercialized medicine on a mass and international scale is being carried out by a media that focuses on insipid nonsense about “love” and “the right to a child” when, in fact, neither of these things exist in this situation.

It is not love to exploit other human beings for your own selfish ends. A more accurate word for that might be narcissism, with perhaps a dose of sociopathy dropped on top of it. And, just for the record, children are people. No one has a “right” to a child.

I read articles talking about the “ethical questions” raised by the commercial exploitation of women’s bodies and the commercial creation of human beings to sell over the internet, and I wonder seriously if the people writing this have any brains at all.

“Ethical questions?”

 

Then I remember. These discussions are not about “ethical questions.” These articles are on the same level as people in the 1930s, debating Hitler’s treatment of the Jews. They are a parsing and an obfuscation designed to confuse and lead people to accept the unacceptable.

Margaret Atwood was a prophet and didn’t know it with her allegory of the reduction of women to breeders and children to chattel. She only got it wrong in her idea as to who would be doing it. People with traditional values are the only ones willing to suffer the abuse necessary to take a stand against this exploitation of women and babies.

The baby creating/selling international market of commercialized, bastardized medicine is a horror show of human rights violations. The irony (but not the surprise) is that the people who like to talk about “rights” the most are the ones who are committing this evil.

 

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41 responses to ““An Unrelated Gestational Carrier.” The Real Handmaid’s Tale”

  1. Thank you for not saying anything nasty about the couple that sparked the article. Some of the blogs and comments I’ve seen about this by Christians are absolutely disgusting.

    I’m puzzled why I can sell my eggs but can’t sell a kidney.

    • I think you can sell your eggs in the US because of the clients who are buying.
      In India you can buy kidneys, btw. Another example of human trafficking.

    • You can’t (legally) sell your breast-milk either. You’d think, considering the usefulness of the product and its ease of production (and lack of depersonalization), it’d be a lot less regulated.

    • You also can’t sell your blood, although some fractional components of blood plasma can be sold. Go figure.

  2. Sus_1 has it exactly right. You are legally prohibited from offering for sale any body part that some would pay handsomely to acquire — such as a kidney or lung. Not so with our eggs or sperm. This material (which is the basic foundation of creating human life) can be bought and sold with absolutely no restrictions.
    The article makes so many great points it is hard to know where to begin. I will simply comments on a couple of items. First, I wonder if Ms. Atwood has been asked recently her opinion on today’s baby-market climate, and whether she would consider a sequel to her work in which the “traditional values” folks are the ones fighting to stop this evil, instead of, as she incorrect predicted, promoting it. (I do not know Ms. Atwood and have not read her book. Too bad she didn’t have a solid foundation in Catholic social teaching or she would have never make the ridiculous prediction that it would be the religious that would perpetrate these crimes).
    Second, is there any investigation as to who is getting these babies? I have read that worldwide many homosexuals have obtained children in this way. How many are becoming child-sex slaves? Is there anyone policing this?
    Third, this is just the latest example in a world that has lost its moral bearings. Pope Francis has been attacked repeatedly for his calls to reform the world economic system. My, how right he has been. When morality is separated from our economy (as it has been in the US), then anything and everything is permissible. We are seeing this now as businesses continue to alienate those who stand for traditional values. This will only get worse as the small number who control the business world continue to make the rules that we must live by.
    Finally, to all those who have in the past (not just Ms. Atwood) and who will in the future continue to make the stupid claim that it will be the religious (read Catholic Church) who will oppress us, wake up and realize that it is the secular humanists who will oppress. Indeed, they are already doing it.
    There is an answer. We don’t have to take this. But is will require worldwide (yes, worldwide) repentance and a return to God. Until that happens, we will continue to slide into the evil one’s grip. God help us.

    • In answer to your question there was a Duke University official who offered his 5 yo adopted son for sex online and was caught in a sting. Apparently, that boy and, I think, another boy had been abused since their adoption.
      The guy’ san me is Lombard and was convicted.

      • I may be wrong, but is the person you mentioned, the Duke University official, a gay man? Just wondered. If it was to make a point that SS men/women might mistreat their children it didn’t work for me. How many children have been abused in their heterosexual families? It can happen in both situations. (which I suspect you already know)

        • Someone above asked the question if any of these adopted children had been abused. Dr Lombard was the director of the Center for Public Health at Duke University. He was advertising these kids on the dark net for sex. It happened 15 minutes from where I live.
          Yes, he is homosexual. That is what someone asked. I will not defend his actions any more than the several people I know who have sexually abused children and participated in human trafficking. Some people think nothing of condemning the whole Catholic Church for horrendous acts that are indefensible, but ignore cases of others, if the perpetrator is of a certain social stature or protected class.

          • I was by no means trying to defend anyone who mistreats children in any way—no matter what their sexual orientation. As for condemning the whole Catholic Church for the acts of the priests? It is an easy thing to do—but I do realize that not every priest is/was guilty of horrible misconduct. Also realize that the Church isn’t the only group that has men and women in them that take advantage of children. 🙂

    • Oh no we don’t want homosexuals getting children because they will be sex slaves because heterosexuals would never do that. You took the only valid point you had and ripped it to pieces by going all homophobic. Yes there probably needs to be a way more oversight on who’s getting children but that argument could be applied in general not just to this. And no it’s not and never has been secular humanist oppressing anyone. Maybe you need to read some history.

      • So … Wesley … what’s your personal connection to this? All these rageful comments — which are so wide of the mark, I wonder if you’ve read the post at all — that I’ve been deleting can’t be due to an intellectual commitment.

      • You’re so off point that I wonder if you read the article. The WHOLE concept of breeding human beings like livestock is the subject. That homosexuals have used this to purchase children and sadly some have been turned into sexual slaves for pedophiles is a sideshow to the real underlying ethical considerations. People are different than livestock and the creating of a human being should be more than a financial transaction or the latest accessory for a celebrity.

  3. Margaret Atwood’s feminist-scare-tactics dystopia has been prophetic indeed but in a reverse way. Oh, the irony of it…

  4. Margaret Atwood and George Orwell have some things in common. They both wrote accurate allegories predicting the grim future of mankind that results from errors in thought made at the beginning of an idea. And they are similar in that they both got the source of the error wrong. It never comes from those who uphold “traditional values,” but rather from those who despise those values. It comes from Liberalism itself, which demands a breed of liberty that is severed from truth and moral virtue. And so Liberals cheer the buying and selling of human beings, Libertarians remain morally “neutral,” and laissez-faire Capitalists are perplexed that ethics and morality have inexplicably invaded the values-free “free” market — all proudly declaring “This is what liberty looks like.” And the only institution that is now, and always has, taught the truth on these matters is the Catholic Church. Investigate Catholic bio-ethics and you’ll see that it is the most well-reasoned and morally sound ethical system ever devised. It is also the only institution that has recognized and warned against the falsehood that is Liberalism, explaining that the theological conclusion of Liberalism is atheism, the economic conclusion of Liberalism is economic servility (through the commoditization of everything), the cultural conclusion of Liberalism is the Culture of Death, and the political conclusion of Liberalism is totalitarianism.

    • What on Earth are you talking about? George Orwell gave a description of a contemporary evil and called it by its name, namely Communism. That he also opposed the British colonial empire and the moneyed power that exploited it is nothing to the purpose. Animal Farm is so wholly about Russian Communism that you can name the historical figures it means to depict. Attwood, on the other hand (and I absolutely do not share Rebecca’s high opinion of Attwood’s talents) wrote a hate-ridden screed against Christianity, in which she completely missed the target, and which is ironically being made true by her own ideological allies. You can bet whatever you want that if she ever gets back to these things, it will be in defence of surrogacy, baby-buying, and all related evils, with a few extra hate-ridden inventions to make us look bad. She is not a prophet; she is the exact opposite of a prophet – a court flatterer who serves the powerful while pretending to be boldly denouncing mighty enemies.

      • It’s interesting that the political Left and the political Right lay claim to Orwell. It’s also interesting that each accuses the other of commandeering him to buttress their political claims, each accusing the other that the opposing ideology leads to totalitarianism. Orwell’s condemnation of Soviet Communism stopped well short of any condemnation of Socialism itself — he being an avowed socialist. The question is whether Orwell’s secular democratic socialism stops authoritarian Statism or ends in it. Does such secularism allow and uphold “traditional values” or mock and eliminate them? Is a Totalitarian State with Big Brother, where universal truth and moral virtue are nonexistent, the result of adhering to traditional Christian values or to Orwell’s own secularism? It seems that those things, along with the penchant for revisionist history, and the relentless advance of a devoted secular media in defense of an all-powerful government, are organically linked to Orwell’s basic secular philosophy. While he doesn’t put the cause of totalitarianism on traditional Christian values, he seems to have missed the connection between his Liberalism and the very thing he rightly denounced. I say all this as someone who very much likes George Orwell.

  5. Thank you thank you thank you! I’ve been thinking of the Handmaid’s Tale and current surrogacy trends together for the last few years. I’m glad someone finally pointed out that it is secular libertines– not Christians!– who have finally brought us to the ugly realities Atwood foresaw.

  6. I do not think it should even be legal to do this without payment – because there would be no way to guarantee payment was not made. Even without payment it still sees the obtaining of a child, by any means necessary, as a right. The child is denied her right to be conceived within the loving embrace of her parents.

    As you said, no one has a “right” to a child, they certainly don’t have the right to have someone create many little lives who are then at increased risk of death, simply so that, maybe, one of them might be born. If someone was willing to do this, even without payment, it still distorts the reality that humans are not things and makes a whole market for those who would (quietly) pay.

  7. A TV show in the UK is being aired called “the Parent Makers” promoting a surrogacy business run by two gay men called Tony and Barrie Drewitt-Barlow who have interesting reputations. They call themselves “The Gay Mafia”.

    I would urge readers to have a look at their website which contains previous episodes of the show and form their own conclusions as to what this business is all about. http://www.theparentmakers.com/episodes/ A business which is ostensibly being run in the USA because the Drewitt-Barlows are banned from being company directors in the UK, by the Insolvency Service.

    There is a lot more I could say on this matter, however anyone who speaks against this couple (myself included) is subject to intimidation and threats. A synopsis is contained here http://carolinefarrow.com/2014/05/29/taking-on-the-gay-mafia/

    The TV show which is supposed to promote surrogacy as ethical and compassionate achieves the opposite. Though this is tough viewing, it is compelling for those wishing to get in the mindsets of those involved in this trade.

    Well done for identifying and calling out the emotional blackmail for what it is. The media need to stop feting those people involved in this trade and celebrities need to stop endorsing, encouraging and promoting it.

  8. …or as I said elsewhere: if a man who pays to use a woman sexually is a John, then the man who purchases a child for money must be an Elton, since the man who does both is an Elton John.

  9. I loathe Attwood and regard her as an overblown product of propaganda. But if you want to read a great and truly terrifying novel on a similar subject, try “Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro (who, in spite of his name, is a British writer). But be warned, it will give you nightmares – not because of any gruesome detail, but because it shows what happens when the premises of modern “reasoning” are taken to their conclusions.

  10. Too late. Society accepted contraception so that women wouldn’t have to become pregnant when they didn’t ‘want’ to become pregnant. Society accepted amniocentesis as a way to guarantee that ‘genetically damaged’ children wouldn’t be born at all. Society accepted in vitro fertilization as a way to ‘help’ childless couples have a child. All this from the beginning of the process made children a consumer product rather than a gift from God, I don’t recall the evangelical church sounding the alarm over the first two developments. They didn’t see the progression of thought here? The toothpaste isn’t going back in the tube now.

    • What is egregious is that this offensive piece of caca is based on facts. The real outrage is the violation of the the human rights of half the human race and the reduction of babies to chattel to be manufactured, sold and bought.

      • It is not based on facts. It is spin geared toward attacking gay families. It is extremely ugly and hurtful.

        • That is absolute nonsense. It is entirely fact based.

          Surrogacy and egg harvesting endanger women’s lives and reduce them to the level of farm animals. Creating/selling and buying children reduces THEM to the level manufactured goods.

          If you are part of this in some way, and are trying to get out of your moral responsibility to the rest of the human race by labeling anyone who points out what is obvious and denying simple facts, then you need to take a serious look at yourself.

          Commercialized creating/buying and selling of babies by preying on women is a human rights violation. It is a crime against humanity.

          You are right to use the words ugly and hurtful, even though you misapply them by trying to make the aggressors the victims.

          Egg harvesting and surrogacy are ugly. They are hurtful to people. They are an ugly destruction of the humanity of two whole groups of human beings and the predatory exploitation of them for commerce. They hurt women. They hurt children. They destroy our concept that people are not chattel to be bought and sold.

          Telling people who want to do this that what they are doing to other people is from the pit may upset them. So be it. I hope it does upset them.

          If you are advocating for this, I hope that the truth hurts you enough that you grow a conscience and stop advocating for this monstrous crime against humanity.

          • Gay families do exist and from my experience they are very capable of wanting the best for the other person.

    • When the argument is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser(Socrates).. You have no response to this well thought out, well documented and spot on article about technology replacing humanity. Please address the issues if you wish to be taken seriously.

  11. True conservatives, in the parlance of The Handmaid’s tale, are not Sons of Jacob. They’re the low level men with “Econowives” that teach their wives and daughters in secret to read, because their jobs take them out of the home for too long and they need their wives and daughters to be able to make decisions.

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