Blog Post

How Same-Sex Marriage Exploits Women

In addition to its devastating impact on the institution of marriage and the well-being of children, same-sex marriage will also lead to the exploitation of women as homosexual men seek out "cheap wombs" to rent - mostly those of poor women -  to produce their offspring.

Writing for the Sydney Morning Herald, Michael Cook, of the bioethics newsletter BioEdge, quotes a line from a popular TV show, The New Normal, in which a surrogate mother is described as "an easy bake oven . . . with no legal rights to the cupcake."

The callous description is only too accurate, he says. 

"In heterosexual relationships, the birth rate rises when couples are married," writes Cook. "One would expect similar dynamics to apply to same-sex couples. For lesbian couples, this is not a huge problem; all they need is a sperm donor. But male couples need surrogate mothers. Where will these women come from?"

Unless the law of supply and demand is repealed, he says, the answer is simple - wherever the wombs are cheapest.

"At the moment, this is India, where surrogate motherhood has become a $2.3 billion industry, with the enthusiastic encouragement of some state governments. A recent investigation by the London Sunday Telegraph found there were only 100 surrogacies in Britain last year, but 1000 in India for British clients. The proportion in Australia is likely to be the same."

While there are no official statistics, gay couples appear to account for a substantial number of these overseas womb rentals. Cook e-mailed several IVF clinics in India to pose the question of whether or not the they were preparing for a rise in the demand for surrogate mothers due to the legalization of same-sex marriage.

"The answer was a resounding yes," he writes. "Our survey is far from scientific, let alone comprehensive, but it suggests that poor women in developing or economically depressed countries will be recruited to service gay couples."

Cook quotes the award-winning British/Indian journalist Kishwar Desai who told The Guardian: "There are hospitals where women are kept for the whole nine months while they carry someone else's child. There are good stories, where the surrogate is well looked after, but I would like to make people aware of the sheer exploitation of it, the fact that these women are extremely poor. They are carrying someone's child for two or three thousand pounds [$3000 to $4500]. They may do this three or four times. They may be forced to have a caesarean."

In this report, we document how poor Indian women are willing to stand in line for hours for the opportunity to donate their eggs or allow their wombs to be used to produce children for foreign parents - many of them gay. 

The phenomenon is not just limited to overseas clinics, however. A leading US infertility doctor, Jeffrey Steinberg, who runs the Fertility Institutes in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, told BioEdge that he gets a surge of inquiries from same-sex couples whenever a new state legalizes the unions. "At the moment he uses only carefully screened American surrogates, but he is thinking of outsourcing their jobs to Mexico," Cook writes.

"Supporters of same-sex marriage must recognise they face a serious moral dilemma," he warns. "Cheap wombs might bring gay men the happiness of being the father of a child of their own. But the cost of that happiness is often borne by poor and uneducated women."

© All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace®