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Opinion | Sexuality

A Woman, Not a 'Gestational Carrier'

How the global infertility industry reduces women to profitable body parts.

Editor's Note: This is the second Her.meneutics post responding to Melanie Thernstrom's New York Times Magazine article on twiblings. Ellen Painter Dollar covered it last week.

As millions around the world celebrated the birth of Jesus, Elton John and his partner, David Furnish, issued a press release announcing the birth of their baby boy, born on Christmas Day. Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, a healthy baby, was born through modern, assisted reproductive technologies (ART). Using an anonymous egg donor and a "gestational carrier" (a term that is getting some criticism), Elton and David fulfilled one of their greatest wishes: to be parents. They have now joined the ranks of the growing list of celebrities having babies via ART.

This got me thinking about another list I read a few years ago: the "Ten Best Chores to Outsource." Expecting to see housecleaning, gardening and landscaping, pool cleaning, laundry, I was shocked and saddened by the number one "best chore to outsource": pregnancy. From the Time piece:

Outsourcing brings to mind big factories and call centers. But entrepreneurs around the globe now offer services—from tutoring to sculpting a bust of your grandpa—to regular folks for a fraction of the cost in the West. Thought the world was flat before? Well, now you can hire someone in India to carry your child.

Entrepreneurs like Rudy Rupak, CEO of medical tourism agency Planet Hospital, are just another example of those who are hopping on the ART modern-family ...

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