Monday, August 23, 2010

Thumbs up to Amana Fontanella-Khan

One of's long-term goals is to change the media portrayal of pro-lifers. To that end, we occasionally profile articles that equate the pro-life position with religion, as well as articles which avoid this trap. Today's article, "India, the Rent-a-Womb Capital of the World," falls under the latter category. In it, Slate author Amana Fontanella-Khan writes about the ethical issues surrounding surrogacy in India:
Some describe this as a win-win situation. The doctors get clients, the childless get children and the surrogates get much-needed money. But some media horror stories have challenged this happy vision.
. . .
In another disturbing case, an upper-class Indian woman hired a surrogate to carry her child and invited her to live in her home during the pregnancy. The client accused the surrogate mother of stealing and not only kicked her out of the house but coolly informed her that she didn't want her services anymore and that she should terminate the pregnancy. Surrogates get paid only on delivery of the baby, so this kind of situation is economically devastating for a surrogate. It can also severely compromise the ethical and religious beliefs of surrogates who may not wish to undergo an abortion.
Lesser reporters might have assumed that women from an "essentially semi-feudal and pre-industrial" culture rely solely on religion for moral guidance. By stating that opposition to abortion is based in religion and ethics, this reporter respects both the pro-life position and the Indian women who espouse it. So thank you, Ms Fontanella-Khan and Slate, for bringing attention to this abuse of women's rights, and for portraying pro-lifers fairly.

I do take issue with the phrase "terminate the pregnancy," which is obviously not a problem unique to this article. I recently heard a wonderful quote about this issue; please tell me if you know its original source.
Pro-lifers don't object to terminating pregnancies. Pregnancies are only supposed to last a short while. We favor terminating them around nine months. The objection is to killing children.


Jen R said...

That quote sounds like something Rachel MacNair would say.

Nulono said...

The quote is from the Feminists for Life debate handbook. I didn't know this offhand, but I googled it.

Jen R said...

Great, thanks. Rachel says that it does, indeed, sound like something she might have said (and indeed, that might be how it got into the handbook), but she can't remember for sure.