I haven’t read the story, so I’ll try to stay away from most of the arguments/counterarguments… I think it’s pretty clear that there are a wide variety of perspectives on this topic, and I don’t know that I want to wade too deeply into it.
Still, something in Dave’s post caught my eye.
First, he quotes Dana (from TAPPED):
I believe surrogacy should be regulated and legal. But I don’t want to live in a country where women turn to surrogacy in order to pay their own children’s college bills.
To which he responds (in part):
Who are we, as a society, especially we who take the “women’s right to privacy and self-determination of their own bodies” argument very seriously in the question of abortion legality, to say that a rational, adult woman should not be able to do this with her own body? Nobody else is being hurt – indeed, another couple is being helped, immensely so.
I think Dave misses Dana’s point here. I don’t think Dana is implying that we should prohibit women from making this choice. Nor do I imagine that any readers of this blog would argue for that sort of prohibition.
Dana is making a larger point, viewing surrogacy transactions in the context of economic inequality.
I don’t think Dana’s concerned with this individual story so much as she’s troubled by the economic motivation that surrogate mothers may feel. Regardless of how you feel about surrogacy in and of itself, I think it’s safe to say that we should not be content with a society in which women feel that the only way to afford college for their own kids is to rent their body to host someone else’s baby.
So, should women be free to enter into such an agreement? Absolutely. Should we do more for everyone so that such agreements are entered in a spirit of generosity and altruism, rather than economic necessity? I think so.