Is Surrogacy Ethical?
There are two main groups that oppose Surrogacy: Religious groups and a handful of prominent Women’s Groups. The former oppose surrogacy on the grounds that women should not be able to make their own choices related to their own bodies, that religious beliefs trump personal liberty when it comes to sex and reproductive choices. This group has long opposed access to birth control, abortion rights, and women generally making their own informed choices about reproduction and sex.
By contrast, some Women’s Groups oppose Surrogacy on grounds that women are incapable of making informed choices about pregnancy as it is a medically risky endeavor (ironically, these groups support women making choices with respect to abortion because they assume women understand it’s a medically risky endeavor). Where these groups have a point is that the risks of pregnancy are not publicized enough. Many women go into pregnancy for the first time being woefully uninformed about risks, including changes to their bodies and health that happen during and following pregnancy. This is a problem unique to modern times where girls grow up not seeing pregnancy or birth up close in ways younger generations of women would have in the past.
The key difference, and this is fundamental to understanding the ethics of surrogacy, is that where commercial surrogacy is legal and regulated, *all* surrogates must have had at least one prior pregnancy without any noteworthy complications. These women have been pregnant previously and come into surrogacy with informed and enthusiastic consent, much more so than the majority of women who become pregnant naturally. They must also undergo psych evaluations where various scenarios of what can happen medically are thoroughly discussed and vetted.
Surrogates are required by law to be informed of potential risks by qualified doctors and attorneys. These women are not flying blind; they are making very educated decisions based on their own medical histories, current health, and individual circumstances.