Det förbjudna mödraskapet : En moralfilosofisk undersökning av surrogatmödraskap
Sammanfattning: Surrogate motherhood, or surrogacy, means that a woman carries a child with the explicit intention not to keep the child after the birth. This reproductive method is illegal according to Swedish legislation. The question at heart of the dissertation is the following: Can a legal prohibition of surrogacy be morally justified? My answer is simple no. Consequently, I work with the thesis that there are reasons to allow altruistic (where the surrogate mother is not getting paid for her service) as well as commercial surrogacy (where the surrogate mother is getting paid). The arguments in favour of permitting surrogacy is based on the idea that the state should be value neutral when it comes to adult persons’ life choices. It means that every adult member of the society has a right to decide what to do with his or her body without state interference, as long as the actions do not interfere with the equal right of others. In not allowing surrogacy, the state impedes the principle of self-government. Chapters 1 to 3 are empirical. In chapter 1 I explain the practice. I discuss the motives among surrogate mothers to become surrogates and among intended parents to use surrogacy as a means for becoming parents. In chapter 2 I discuss the reproductive technologies needed for surrogacy, that is insemination and IVF. In chapter 3 I move on to the legislation in some Western countries, in the light of the famous custody case, the Baby M Case. In chapter 4 I discuss reproductive rights, based on John Locke’s theories on property. I argue that one cannot justify surrogacy based on Locke. In chapter 5 I create such a defence, based on J.S. Mill’s liberal theories. Mill says that adult, informed and consenting individuals should be allowed to do whatever they want as long as they do not harm others. The hitch is that there is a third party who does not have a possibility to give consent: the child-to-be. Here, I argue that it would be wrong to say that “surrogate children” have lives not worth living. The conclusion I draw from this is that surrogacy can be defended. In chapter 6 I analyse the concept of exploitation. I argue that surrogacy is not exploitative in itself. Nonetheless, exploitation can occur, but if so it is because of factors behind particular arrangements and not because of the practice as such. In chapters 7 and 8 I focus on the feminist arguments, in particular the commodification argument and the gender role argument. I argue that commodification does not imply degradation. I argue that paid surrogacy can favour many women. Moreover, for many women paid surrogacy can be a manoeuvre for transcending traditional gender roles. In fact, one can argue that there is something antipatriarchal about paid surrogacy. It defines pregnancy as a job among other jobs. And that is not a bad thing, I argue. On the contrary, a more liberal reproductive ideology would widen our liberty.
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