Surrogate motherhood

The practice of surrogate motherhood is against the rights of women and also against human dignity. The child becomes the object of a deal, and the body of the mother becomes an instrument and matter of trade and agreements.

To oppose to it is to protect the dignity of women and of the unborn child. It helps to awaken our consciences to the forthcoming changes in the behaviour of out fellow humans.

GPA témoignage le Soir

A child is not a thing

The dangers of surrogate motherhood on the psychic development of the child cannot be denied. Will he want to find its surrogate mother ? How will it cope with this fracture ? With what for fears?

A commercial trade took place in Brussels in May 2015 at the very location of the local government. The aim of this happening was to help private local hospitals to connect with US organizations specialized in surrogate motherhood for homosexual couples who want a child (Le Vif). This was reported by Stéphanie Raeymaekers, president of a Flemish organisation of children born by means of gamete donation, called “donorchildren”, according to the Belgian daily newspaper Le Soir

Doctor Pierre Lévy-Soussan, pedopsychiatrist, emphasises upon the risk of an imposed  mental fracture on the child. It is not only  a simple abandonment, but a well prepared fracture from what the child has lived during the pregnancy. Such a kind of fracture has always psychical consequences. Due to the fact that the child, once born, doesn’t find back the whole of the contact (skin, smells, feeding, voice, rythme) with and from the mother, he will take other objects, but thus developing a secondary defensive organisation, after losing the primary surroundings that should have provided this organizational structure. The parallel sometimes made between surrogate motherhood and adoption doen’t make sense, since adoption is being organised to the benefit of the child, after a previous accident, whereas surrogate motherhood imposes an accident to the child. (source: Alliance VITA)

Do similar situations exist?

Some situations do occurr in our societies are misused in order to legalise surrogate motherhood. This are some of them:

  • Is there a difference between lending one’s arm or one’s uterus?

A woman is at the same time a body and a spirit. By surrogate motherhood, the woman becomes a physical instrument, and her spiritual dimension is totally negated. By lending her uterus, she gives her whole body away to other people. There is no more private life anymore private life: the surrogate mother puts herself totally at the service of the “intended parents”.

  • Organs are already donated, why not donate a child?

Organ donation, which is sometimes used to justify the provision of one’s body at the service of others, provides a solution of a mortal danger been suffered another-  the patient. Or, to be sterile or unable to bear children is not a danger. It’s a pain, a loss, a frustration. Not a mortal danger. While the “surrogate mother” will take a real risk … not to give birth to her own child, but to the child – which is also much more than an own organ – of someone else.

What about an ethical surrogacy?

Legalising surrogate motherhoood is to promote the abandonment of a child by his mother, after having bore him, fed him and having had a vital trade for nine months. It can in no case be an “ethical” gesture. There is no surrogatemotherhood ethics, as there is no ethical slavery nor child market ethics. Free or not, a child can not be bargained. Moreover, it is impossible to verify that there is really no transfer of money, goods or services between the surrogate mother  and the intended mother.

Altruism can animate the surrogate mother, but it does not justify in any way the practice of surrogacy. One forgets that we must distinguish between persons and things. One does not offer a baby as one offers a material gift…

It is impossible to tell the difference between an “ethical” surrogacy and another which  would not be ethical, because you can not verify that there has been yes or  no an exchange of money. This according to psychoanalyst Jean-Pierre Winter

A bill may limit the commercial tendencies of intermediaries or the reproductive tourism. Nevertheless only as restrictive as it is, it would legitimize the participation of both the physician and the judge, practices that we condemn because they put the protection of those most vulnerable in jeopardy.

The recent Thai case has also demonstrated the impossibilitGPA Thailandey to supervise “ethically” thesurrogatemotherhood. During the summer of 2014, “an Australian couple who had contracted surrogacy  with a Thai woman,  abandoned to her one of the twins, since he was  born with the Down syndrome. We learnt afterwards that the Australian husband was convicted of assaulting children” (source: Libération)

The media exposure of the scandal reopened the debate on surrogacy, how to respond in case of non-compliance of the child to the intended parents’ wishes, in case of birth of twins, a history of parents, etc.

Parlement Européen

Position of the European Parliamant

It would be wise that Belgium would follow  in that the resolution voted 421 votes against 86 by the European Parliament. The latter condemns firmly surrogacy.

On Thursday, December 17, 2015 the European Parliament adopted its annual report on human rights and democracy in the world 2014 and the EU policy. This provision of the Surrogate motherhood is in paragraph 114.

Abortion

Every human being spent the first nine months of his or her life in the womb to develop him or herself. Even if one was dependent on his mother for food, it was already a unique individual, different from any other human being. This from fertilization. Both gender and hair color, eye color, … had been fixed since the first seconds of one’s existence…

Scientifically speaking  there is no doubt that one’s life began in that moment, i.e. fertilisation!

Why abortion is unacceptable

  • Each person, born or unborn is entitled to the respect for his life. Abortion kills a human being that lives and grows.

Human life can not be defined by law, but must be acknowledged as such. It is now proven by science that, from the first moment of fertilisation, there is a new absolutely unique individual human being. This human being will pass on a perfect continuous way through the stages of embryo, fetus and then a baby.

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  • Killing can never be considered a medical aid.
  • Abortion is a lucrative industry.

It has been shown by hidden camera that Planned Parenthood Planned in the United States, has marketed unborn children, and favoured abortion methods to preserve the body of the whole child. These videos were published by the Center for Medical Progress. Many women are not aware that their child would be sold following their abortion.

What are the methods of abortion?

  • Aspiration: a hollow tube is inserted into the uterus. The suction of the vacuum cleaner dismembers the baby and rejects the pieces in a container. The head is crushed. It is the most used in Belgium: between 5 and 12 weeks life of the child.
  • Curettage: the cervix is ​​dilated to cut the child in pieces. The human remains are collected with a curette.
  • Abortion by injection: a hypertonic solution is injected into the amniotic fluid, this will kill the child after several hours of  inflicting horrific burns. Twenty-four hours later, the mother gives birth to a stillborn child. This method is used for late abortions.
  • Partial birth abortion: the living baby is partially delivered, only its head remains in the uterus. Then, he head is perforated so that the brain issucked out. This particularly barbaric technique alows to recover living nerve cells in the fetus, which can be used for transplantation. Despite the fact that this awful technique is forbidden since 2003 in the United States, a doctor of Planned Parenthood has indirectly admitted to practice in October 2014 (source: Fox News)
  • The RU 486 pill: the morning after pill and the IUD also cause abortions.

Evidences

(source: Handbook of Bioethics for Young People – Fondation Jérôme Lejeune)

And you, what do you say about this case?

A teacher gives a textbook example to his students and asked them what advice they would give to a family where  the following happened:

The father has syphilis, the mother tuberculosis, they already had four children: the first is blind, the second stillborn, the third dumb, and the fourth has tuberculosis.

The mother is pregnant with her fifth child and the parents are thinking about performing an abortion.

The professor finds perhaps a majority of students in favour of abortion. He will listen to them and announce them that they just murdered one of the greatest geniuses in the history: Beethoven. For such was the story of this unique and irreplaceable genius.

  • Testimony of a mother collected on a forum….

They injected a highly concentrated saline solution in my woomb. From that moment, it was terrible. My baby started to struggle and move fastly. She suffered (it was a girl). The saline solution was burning her skin, her eyes, her throat. She was in agony, trying to escape….

For various reasons, I had never realized that with an abortion, my daughter would die. I do not want my baby to die. I just wanted to get rid of my “problem”. But it was too late to go back. There was no way to save her. I did not want her to die. I begged her not to die. I told her I was sorry, that she would  forgive me, I was wrong, I did not mean to kill her. Abortion had not only killed my daughter. It had killed a part of me. Before the needle it my abdomen, I had a certain respect for myself. But when the child that I had suddenly abandoned, started struggling in me, I began to hate myself.

If the health of the mother is in danger?

It is never necessary to perform an abortion to save the life of the mother.” That statement is that of the four main Professors of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of Ireland (1992). This does not mean that medical treatment should be refused to a pregnant woman. Thus, in case of cancer, chemotherapy could be administered to the mother although this puts the child’s life into danger. It is appropriate to distinguish the unfortunate death of the baby as a side effect of medical treatment given to his mother,  and abortion where the aim is deliberately to kill the child.

And rape cases?

  • Women who are victims of this heinous act need first of all compassion and need for long-term assistance, and definitely  not a pseudo miracle solution.
  • Abortion kills a child. It does not erase the trauma of rape.
  • Abortion is second violence inflicted on the woman after the rape.
  • Abortion punishes an innocent child for his father’s crime.
  • If raising children is too painful for the mother,  adoption is possible.

Please, do not kill the child. I want the child. Give me this child, please. I am ready for any child whose mother might abort and give that child to a married couple who will love and be loved by the child. Simply through our asylum for children in Calcutta we saved over 3,000 children from abortion. These children have brought such love and joy to their adopting parents and have grown up filled with joy and love.” Mother Teresa

What about clandestine abortions?

Based on WHO studies and the very serious medical journal The Lancet (8-5-10, vol. 375, pp. 1609-1623), we can compare the evolution of maternal mortality in countries where abortion is legal and those where it is illegal: it is easy to see that there is no correlation between the legal status of abortion or not and changes in mortality curves.

What is the situation in Belgium?

Most women who have abortions are quite compeled to do so. This is what was stated in the Evaluation Committee of the law decriminalizing abortion in 2007. “The choice of abortion is often dictated by social instability, economic or cultural pressure. If they had had the opportunity, women would have carried their pregnancies to term.” (2007 Report of the Federal Commission assessment of the law decriminalizing abortion, page 52)

« Le choix de l'IVG est souvent dicté par une précarité sociale, économique ou une pression culturelle. Si elles en avaient eu la possibilité, les femmes auraient mené leur grossesse à terme. » Rapport de 2007 de la Commission fédérale d'évaluation de la loi dépénalisant l'avortement, page 52

Saying that legalizing abortion would offer women freedom of choice is severely contradicted by the facts. Each year, nearly 20,000 abortions take place in Belgium according to official figures. In 25 years, the annual number of abortions has almost doubled. What do the authorities to help women choose life?

Euthanasia

Since 2002, euthanasia has been defined in Belgium by our criminal code as “an act practiced by a third party intentionally ending the life of a person at the request of the latter” (Article 2 of the Euthanasia Act). Which means it causes a death, not the reduction of care or treatments. What is called palliative care aims to support and assist the patient in the final phase of his life, by providing the necessary care to ease his/her physical or psychological suffering. .

Following documentary on euthanasia, decriminalized in Belgium in 2002, shows that it is subject of serious abuses.

What does the law say?

The main conditions for euthanasia are (source: Euthanasie STOP):

a) Euthanasia on conscious people

Euthanasia may be performed: When it comes to a patient in terminal stage

  1. The patient is an adult or emancipated minor, legally competent and conscious, so able to express his/her will;
  2. The request is voluntary, considered and repeated, and has not come about as a result of any external pressure; this must be documented;
  3. The medical situation is hopeless and causes a constant and unbearable physical or psychological suffering, which can not be alleviated, and it is due to a serious and incurable accidental or pathological disorder;

b) The euthanasia on unconscious persons

Euthanasia can take place only if:

  • The person is an adult or emancipated minor;
  • The patient is unconscious and this situation is irreversible according to the current state of the science;
  • The patient was hit by a severe and incurable accidental or pathological disorder;
  • The patient  drew up and signed an advance directive to allow euthanasia; This statement is valid for 5 years and may designate one or more relatives, who will inform the attending physician of the will of the patient.

c) Enfants (source : legalwolrd.be)

Depuis 2014, les enfants (sans limite d’âge), « dotés de la capacité de discernement et conscients au moment de la demande », peuvent également demander l’euthanasie à condition de se trouver dans une situation médicale sans issue de souffrance physique constante et insupportable qui:

  • ne peut être apaisée;
  • entraîne le décès à brève échéance;
  • résulte d’une affection accidentelle ou pathologique grave et incurable.

En toute hypothèse, la loi prévoit également une « clause de conscience », en précisant qu’aucun médecin n’est tenu de pratiquer une euthanasie et qu’aucune autre personne n’est tenue d’y participer (article 14 de la loi).

Why we oppose it?

  • Because euthanasia is an abandonment of palliative care.

Unlike actions generally posed by the doctor, the aim of euthanasia is not to restore the good health, well-being of the patient, but to remove the person himself. It constitutes a definitive abandonment. Euthanasia does not save the dignity of the patient; it removes a person who often suffer from loneliness and feelings of being a burden..

  • If there is a “right” to euthanasia for some, this implies a duty to euthanize for others.

Unlike suicide, euthanasia is not an act done on yourself. It implies that the medical profession does not only treats but also  kills.  This change in the very nature of the medical profession was not requested by doctors and induces in many patients and families a breach of trust concerning the medical profession.

  • Because euthanasia is uncontrolled, and uncontrollable.

Then one only has been filed in court by the euthanasia Control Commission studies and testimonials demonstrate that euthanasia is not controlled. According to a study by the University of Ghent and VUB, 47.8% of deaths in 2013 in Flanders were “facilities” by medical intervention.

In intensive care, the dead are programmed. The unexpected deaths are extremely rare, almost nobody dies at 4am.” Jean-Louis Vincent, Erasme Hospital, ICU, Professor at the ULB (Brussels University)

« En soins intensifs, les morts sont programmées. Les décès inopinés sont excessivement rares, quasi personne ne décède à 4 heures du matin. » Jean-Louis Vincent, hôpital Erasme, service de soins intensifs, professeur à l'ULB

Even worse, one upon sixty deaths would be the result of euthanasia , never been requested by the patient, according to a report from the French observatory of the end of life.

  • Because a  “choice” made when suffering is not really a free choice.

Euthanasie is yet not necessary

Since 2014, year of decriminalization of euthanasia in children, let us rejoice that no euthanasia has occurred. This law then presented as urgent proved useless in reality. Can we grow up thinking that euthanasia in its emsemble is useless? Yes. Just because:

  • 91% of reported euthanasia were made by patients whose death was expected shortly.

Euthanasie is widely disputed

June 13, 2012, more than 80 health professionals signed an opinion article in La Libre Belgique. It was particularly said:

Euthanasia degrades trust within families and between generations; it instills the mistrust towards the physicians; it undermines the most vulnerable people, as a result of various pressures, conscious or unconscious, so that the patient may feel morally obliged to express a request for euthanasia.

By decriminalizing euthanasia, Belgium has opened a Pandora’s box. Drifts envisaged ten years ago have now become a reality. The federal control commission itself emits doubts on its ability to fulfill its mission, the latter being related to compliance with the obligation to declare practiced euthanasia. Is it reasonable to imagine that a doctor denounces himself if he did not comply with the legal requirements?

When reading of the Commission’s reports, one notices  that the conditions, which were believed stricter initially, are  subject to very extended appreciations. And are backed cases of assisted suicide considered  as euthanasia justifying  psychological suffering which does not result from a serious and incurable disease, so that these two situations are excluded from the scope of the law. Considering further that the unbearable suffering is subjective in nature, the Commission hesitates to verify that this essential legal condition is fulfilled. Can we be surprised that the Commission has never transmitted back to the prosecutor in ten years? Can it be said, without ideological bias, that the law is respected and that the practice of euthanasia is  under control?

Even more – the numerous proposals for easing or expanding the current law, especially for minors and the insane, did arise our deep concern. As expected, once the ban lifted, we walked rapidly towards a trivialization of the euthanasia act. It is clear that, paradoxically, the more a society refuses to see the death or to  hear about it, the more it is inclined to cause it.

Ten years after the decriminalization of euthanasia in Belgium, the experience shows that a society which permits the right to euthanasia breaks the ties of solidarity, trust and genuine compassion that undermine the “living together”, and ultimately is destroying itself. This is the reason why we advocate  for an objective and courageous assessment of the law, rather than easing its extension to new categories of cases.

Examples of cases of euthanasia…

  • The Verbessem brothers,Photo des jumeaux twin brothers born deaf and with glaucoma which according to the diagnoses would progressively blind both of them. They were both euthanized September 14, 2012. The fear of not seeing was described by their doctor “suffering unbearable psychic distress”.
  • Nathan VerhelstNathan Verhelst was euthanized 30 September 2013 after a failed operation of sex change. Having developed an “aversion to his new body” and the reporting  of his mental suffering, this all made that his euthanasia was authorized.
  • An inmate in prison who was very ill, was euthanized in September 2012. Another detainee without serious illness,  requested  euthanasia because it is “more a man can bear”. The psychiatrists said he was suffering from  a mentally unsustainable way.

Hippocrate busteThe Hippocratic oath

(Note that this oath which was written about 400 years BC, is adamant as well regarding abortion as regarding euthanasia)

I swear by Apollo the physician, and Aesculapius the surgeon, likewise Hygeia and Panacea, and call all the gods and goddesses to witness, that I will observe and keep this underwritten oath, to the utmost of my power and judgment.

I will reverence my master who taught me the art. Equally with my parents, will I allow him things necessary for his support, and will consider his sons as brothers. I will teach them my art without reward or agreement; and I will impart all my acquirement, instructions, and whatever I know, to my master’s children, as to my own; and likewise to all my pupils, who shall bind and tie themselves by a professional oath, but to none else.

With regard to healing the sick, I will devise and order for them the best diet, according to my judgment and means; and I will take care that they suffer no hurt or damage.

Nor shall any man’s entreaty prevail upon me to administer poison to anyone; neither will I counsel any man to do so. Moreover, I will give no sort of medicine to any pregnant woman, with a view to destroy the child.

Further, I will comport myself and use my knowledge in a godly manner.

I will not cut for the stone, but will commit that affair entirely to the surgeons.

Whatsoever house I may enter, my visit shall be for the convenience and advantage of the patient; and I will willingly refrain from doing any injury or wrong from falsehood, and (in an especial manner) from acts of an amorous nature, whatever may be the rank of those who it may be my duty to cure, whether mistress or servant, bond or free.

Whatever, in the course of my practice, I may see or hear (even when not invited), whatever I may happen to obtain knowledge of, if it be not proper to repeat it, I will keep sacred and secret within my own breast.

If I faithfully observe this oath, may I thrive and prosper in my fortune and profession, and live in the estimation of posterity; or on breach thereof, may the reverse be my fate!