The Ever Increasing Commodification of Children

QuicktakeGeorge Weigel, writing at First Things:

The Council of the District of Columbia is considering a bill, sponsored by its most aggressively activist gay member, to legalize surrogate child-bearing in your nation’s capital. Infertility is a heart-rending problem. But solving that problem is not what’s at issue here, for the D.C. surrogacy bill is being pushed by the same people who brought “gay marriage” to the shores of the Potomac River: people who affirm what are, by definition, infertile “marriages.”

Moreover, in their determination to deny reality—or perhaps reinvent it—the proponents of the D.C. surrogacy bill have adopted a species of Newspeak that would make George Orwell cringe. You can get a flavor of it in a letter written by a friend of mine to his D.C. councilman:

“. . . in reading the bill I was struck that nothing was said about the child to be born out of the surrogate agreement. Much is said about the rights and responsibilities of the ‘gestational carrier’ (a very strange expression) and the ‘intended parent,’ but nothing is said about the child. The child is treated as a thing to be used as the gestational carrier and intended parent wish. This is the most troubling feature of the proposed law. It gives no indication that one is dealing here with a human person who will have feelings, thoughts, and memories. These are all swept aside as though the child to be born will have no interest in how he or she came into the world, who his or her parents are, and all the other things that are so fundamental to our identity as human beings.”

“Gestational carrier”? The D.C. bill not only treats the child as a thing, a commodity that can be bought and sold; it treats the woman bearing the child in the same way. But this is what happens when reality is turned inside-out. For as my friend pointed out to his councilman, it’s illegal to sell human organs in America; so “how . . . is it possible to sell a baby?” …

There is deep and disturbing cultural irony here. An America that prides itself on organizations like the Children’s Defense Fund and that supports charities like the Save the Children Fund and UNICEF has also committed itself, not indefinitely we pray, to a regime of abortion on demand that has led to the deaths of tens of millions of children. The highest local legislative body in the federal capital is considering a bill that would commodify children as fit objects for sale and purchase—which is precisely what happened in Washington’s antebellum slave markets.

Read the whole thing.

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