In Which the Hit & Run Comments Section Explodes

Okay, Reasonoids, see if you can sort this one out: Canadian couple hires a surrogate to carry their child. The fetus is diagnosed with Down's Syndrome. The couple wants the fetus aborted. The surrogate objects, and wants to carry the pregnancy to term.

All sorts of conflicting rights and ethical quandries entangled in this one. Have at it.

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  • ||

    *Looks at watch*

    Gotta go!

  • ||

    Wait! I was going to make espresso!

  • ||

    You bear it, you buy it.

  • Masturbatin' Pete||

    This is only difficult if you believe that humans developing in the womb do not enjoy a right not to be killed.

    For the rest of us, this is easy.

  • Tony||

    So all mothers who abort should be arrested on murder charges? Yeah, real easy.

  • ||

    Not murder, conspiracy to murder.

  • hmm||

    Conspiracy takes at least two parties.

  • ||

    I was assuming there was an abortionist involved. If she did it herself that wouldn't be conspiracy, you're right.

  • Jeff||

    Conspiracy also requires an unlawful action. Abortion's legal, ergo no conspiracy and no murder.

    You're right, it is that simple.

  • ||

    Abortion's legal in some places.

    In this case it is legal so no murder.

    What about where it isn't legal?

  • mad libertarian guy||

    A fucking abortionist?

    For fuck's sake, they are FUCKING DOCTORS, predominantly OBGYNs.

  • hmm||

    Abortionist doctors!!

    I couldn't resist.

  • Masturbatin' Pete||

    So all mothers who abort should be arrested on murder charges?

    "Mothers"?

  • Chris||

    That's only part of the issue. What happens after the kid is born?

  • Anonymous||

    Adoption.

  • ||

    The circus.

  • Dello||

    The "Cirque du So Lame"...

  • incompetent abortionist:||

    "That's only part of the issue."

  • ||

    What about the mother's right to not have someone else use her body against her will?

  • ||

    If the surrogate mother waved that right in a contract, then she doesn't have that right.

  • ||

    I was responding in general to the "rights" of the fetus. I say if the woman carrying the fetus doesn't want it, she has the right to expel it.

  • Law Student||

    That only applies in cases of rape.

  • ||

    So, I can use a woman's body against her will, so long as I'm not raping her?

  • Goob||

    If that woman put the fetus there, then it wasn't "against her will". She accepted liability for the fetus when she conceived the baby.

    Let's say you push (or accidentally bump) someone off a cliff then grab their hand before they fall. You caused that person to be in that position- you can't just say "Hey, you can't expect me to hold onto you against my will- be sure to tuck and roll!"

  • Terr||

    *head asplodes*

  • Jonny Cochran in South Park||

    Now that does not make sense! Here! Look at the monkey! Look at the silly monkey!

    *Random juror's head explodes*

  • ||

    The good thing about being a libertarian is having an easy answer for everything. Keep the government out, let possession be 100% of the law. The surrogate carries it to term, then raises it. And in the future, surrogacy contracts are better worded.

  • ||

    This. This won't be an epic thread, as you didn't post about something like a monkey cartoon, Sarah Palin, drawing a prophet, Ron Paul, or a cop defending his car with a gun against snowballs.

    Wait, what have I done?

  • ||

    If I stopped the Hummer, got out, and immediately got a snowball in the mouth, I wouldn't react much better.

  • ||

    Yeah, we already know you're a prick.

  • ||

    That's why I subscribe to his monthly newsletter.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Props.

    But I wouldn't be surprised if the surrogate is doing this because she expects to transfer ownership and get paid.

  • ||

    That would be interesting.

    If it is the case, she doesn't deserve one red cent.

  • ||

    LOL, I doubt it.

    Hey you want to buy this fresh Down syndrome baby?

  • Colonel_Angus||

    She might be expecting the couple to buy it. You really can't figure that out?

  • mark||

    LOL

  • Pendulum||

    1. What does the contract say?

    2. If the contract is silent, the default rule should be understood to say that the adoptive parent accepts all risks of the pregnancy. This includes the risk that the child is short, mean, or disabled. The default rule should not ever result in forcing someone to undergo an abortion procedure.

  • Spartacus||

    Surrogate childbirth has been going on for a couple of decades now, and this isn't covered in the contract? Maybe it was, until Elizabeth Warren came along and insisted that the "fine print" be excised.

    I guess it isn't, in which case I agree with Pendulum.

  • ||

    Maybe there's a Lemmon Law clause..in there.. maybe?

  • Paul||

    Only if it's a Jack Lemmon law.

  • Old Salt||

    Honestly, I wouldn't want to touch this cluster fuck with a ten foot bang stick!

    That being said; someone better come up with an answer, as I believe situations like this will become more common for the foreseeable future until better screening techniques become widespread!

  • matt||

    Widespread?

    Screening for Down's is already widespread enough that 95% of them get aborted.

    That sounds to me like it's pretty widespread.

  • rick||

    The surrogate has all identity information and full DNA.

    Wow
    1

  • BikeLizard||

    The couple takes the 'defective' baby, then gives it up for adoption. No one is coerced into abortion, the couple doesn't have a retarded baby, and the surrogate can legally adopt it if she chooses.

  • ||

    This sounds reasonable, but it's not quite a win-win for everyone, as the genetic parents have to assume the costs of neonatal care and the childbirth.

    But I suspect Pendulum's analysis is correct; the genetic parents took that risk when they hired a surrogate.

  • ||

    But what if the surrogate doesn't want to adopt, she just doesn't want an abortion?

    Who is going to adopt a down syndrome baby?

  • BikeLizard||

    So the kid will languish in a orphanage. It's not ideal, but neither is the situation. The birth mother wouldn't be compelled to adopt the kid, it would just be an option.

    Why the three of them didn't discuss this before the surrogacy is the real mystery to me.

  • ||

    It's better to be an unadopted child than to be dead.

  • Ice Nine||

    Hmmm. An unadopted child knows it is unadopted (unwanted) and if it is a Mongloid it knows that too. All rather painful and miserable, I'm guessing - especially as a lifetime gig, which it also knows it will be.

    An unborn child never knows anything, least of all that it is dead. I don't have a dog in the abortion fight but I find it very hard to agree with your assertion.

  • ||

    In that case, killing a chronically depressed person is actually doing them a favor, no?

  • Ice Nine||

    Fallacious argument, my friend. I was contesting only your comparative assertion; I was not advocating killing miserable people.

  • ||

    What suggests mongoloids are more miserable because of their genetics? Does this occur in all of them?

    What suggests orphans are miserable?
    Does this occur in all or them?

    If cases vary, there is no justification for abortion.

  • Cytotoxic||

    So if something is highly likely to happen, don't make any decisions based on that data. Got it.

  • ||

    Oh I get it. If something happens a lot we should intervene to stop it.

    Lets start with the crime rate.

  • ||

    Of course by intervene I mean kill people.

  • ||

    Every chick I ever banged that was a foster child/adopted was fucked up in the head. never met one that was emotionally/mentally stable.
    Just noticing a pattern there.

  • ||

    Just noticing a pattern there.

    Me too: women who aren't fucked up in the head wouldn't touch you with a ten foot pole.

  • The chronically depressed||

    Hey!

  • ||

    Now change mongoloid to black and see how far that gets you.

  • ||

    All it needs is a hat and a job. Problem solved.

  • Tango Mike||

    HAHAHA!!

    Are we not men?:

  • Tango Mike||

    (No charge for the extra colon.)

  • DRM||

    I'm not 100% sure what the adoption situation is like in Canada, of course. But in the US, it's trivial to get a newborn with Down's adopted. Same with crack babies, FAS babies, etc. The only infants who linger in the foster system in the US are those who couldn't be adopted because the parental rights weren't terminated.

    Now, if abortion were outlawed, the flood of babies into the system would, indeed, outstrip the demand, and probably move disabled babies down the list of desired adoptees. But under current circumstances, there is no problem finding adoptive parents; the problem is clearing the legal hurdles to adoption.

  • ||

    I watched some crazy shit that some parents had to go through to adopt. Everything in the house had to be babyproof, had to make six figures, blah blah blah. It seemed so god damned invasive.. when the child wouldn't have had a fraction of the stability with his other parents. I've heard some conspiracy theories regarding this, too. Like, they're used as guinea pigs for testing drugs and blah blah blah.

  • ||

    I don't see any conflicting rights here whatsoever. Even pro-choicers don't think that being the genetic parent of an entity entitles you to order its destruction.

    I'd think that a contract that requires the surrogate to have an abortion if the genetic parents say so is null and void, just as a contract that required one party to cut off his arm if the other party wants him to is null and void.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Um, no. If you agree to the contract you live by the contract.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Not all contracts are legal.

  • ||

    ...inalienable Rights, among these, Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness...

  • Cytotoxic||

    ...are for people, not fetuses only.

  • ||

    The surrogate mother is not a fetus, it's her right to bodily integrity I'm referring to.

  • Law Student||

    Only if your definition of a person is some convoluted nonsense. The simplest definition is any living human being which a fetus most certainly is.

  • Cytotoxic||

    My definition is 'has sapience'. Simple enough for ya?

  • ||

    Stupid enough for ya? Sapience is nonsense - what degree of sapience? Is a horribly disabled child reliant on life-support due no respect?

  • Goob||

    And of course a baby fresh out of the womb is not sapient either. It must be okay to take a meat tenderizer to their heads until they can quote Nietzsche.

  • ||

    I don't actually care what YOUR definition of personhood is, however well argued it might be.

    What matters is the legal definition, and in every system I know of, legal personhood begins at the moment of birth and ends at the moment of death.

    Wishing it were otherwise doesn't change anything. If you want to get the legal definition changed, good luck.

  • ||

    Tulpa, if you give up a right in a contract, you no longer have that right. Are you saying people aren't free to decide when their own rights can be violated?

    Also, quoting the Constitution doesn't exactly have alot of wait with natural rights libertarians.

  • ||

    I would think natural rights libertarians would be the first to object to people selling away their natural rights. Kind of contradicts the idea of those rights being inherent to human nature.

  • calebthegnome||

    But isn't one of those natural rights the right to suspend your own rights?I have a right to not be punched, but if I enter a boxing match knowing the nature of the game, then I would be out of line to complain about having my right to not be punched infringed.

    The only real difference here is that in a boxing match I'm free to throw in the towel. With contracts, you're not so free to break them. And I suppose that's where the real contention comes in. But if you say someone isn't free to sign away a natural right indefinitely, without leaving themselves an opening to reclaim it, then you're infringing on their autonomy.

  • ||

    No, it isn't. Natural rights theory purports that human rights are inherent to our nature, and cannot be given or taken away by any legal process. (The Declaration of Independence which I quoted above is steeped in natural rights theory)

    If you believe otherwise you are a positivist of one sort or another.

  • Alex||

    But you are not forced into pressing your rights. So you don't have to look at it as contracting away your rights. You can look at it as contracting to not press a claim on an infringement of your rights.

  • ||

    But if the other party tries to enforce the contract, they are going to have to infringe your rights. And govt prosecutes those who infringe rights whether the victim wants them to or not.

  • Cytotoxic||

    But if the other party tries to enforce the contract, they are going to have to infringe your rights.

    No they are not. They are just demanding the fulfillment of their contract rights.

  • ||

    If one believes in natural rights, their contractual rights are in conflict with your natural rights, which proceed from your nature as a human being and cannot be gained or lost through legal process.

    Otherwise you're a positivist who believes govt can give and take rights at will.

  • Alex||

    Again, you do not lose your rights, nor give them away. You still maintain your natural rights. You just enter into a contract to agree not to press a claim for infringement of your natural rights.

  • ||

    Did you read my post? Government prosecutes violations of the right to life or bodily integrity regardless of whether the victim wants them to.

    You need the contract to prevent the govt from doing that somehow.

  • ||

    Tulpa, if I sign away my rights through a contract, the government CANNOT prosecute you for doing what is in the contract. Positivism has nothing to do with this. I have the right to waive my own rights.

  • ||

    heller, you're simply wrong here. If you pay a hit man to kill you, the govt will still prosecute him for murder.

  • ||

    Well it wouldn't be the first time the government did something they weren't supposed to. Is that supposed to by an argument for why I'm wrong or are you just pointing out the government's stupidity?

  • ||

    Contract rights are a feature of human association, not of human nature itself.

  • ||

    Hopefully your contract addresses relief.

    If you didn't negotiate it originally I don't have a lot of sympathy.

  • Draco||

    The story could have been even better if the BC couple were gay-married lesbians who had received a sperm donation from a male who was younger than the age of consent in Canada but older than the age of consent in Thailand, where the sperm was acquired, and the male, having come from a long line of mental defectives, wanted the fetus carried to term.

    IOW, come back when you've got something more challenging, Balko.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Plus the insemination was done when the parents and the thai male were smuggled into the US to do the procedure at cut rate prices.

  • Ryanxxx||

    You guys are amateurs: the fetus is an experimental prototype and the sperm actually came from an elephant

  • Alex||

    Gay elephant.

  • ||

    Gay African Elephant.

  • Alex||

    That has a smoking habit.

  • ||

    That smokes Bill Clinton's cigars.

  • ||

    And is a 'massage therapist' subjected to releasing Al Gore's 'Sacred Chakra'

  • Mr Whipple||

    Above my payscale.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Sounds like a job for a Dispute Resolution Organization (DRO).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIs5r3ujBmw

  • mb||

    this case is exactly why I have been advocating for IVF Lemon Laws. If you buy a defective product, you can send it back to the factory and get a new one. So why can't you do the same with this product?

  • ||

    +100

  • Ayn_Randian||

    The "ethical quandries" of normal pregnancies when the male wants to keep/abort but the female wants to keep/abort have not been solved yet. Once you solve those, you solve this.

  • Ayn_Randian||

    For reference, I think I have them figured out, but most people don't like the answer. Pro-choice = pro-responsibility. If the impregnanted wants to keep the fetus, then she assumes all financial and legal obligations to that child.

  • ||

    So a guy who sleeps around and gets a bunch of women pregnant can just demand they have an abortion and get off scot-free? That's not an acceptable solution.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Actually it is.

  • ||

    If he has made no agreement to support any child that results from their coupling then he has the same obligation to any child that she has.

    And the law has been pretty clear. She is under no obligation to keep and support the child. Neither should he be.

    People need to start acting like responsible adults.

    And the fact that she has a problem with having an abortion creates no obligation on his part if he doesn't. No one should be forced to subsidize another person's belief system.

  • Matt C||

    Except for the fact that abortion procedures are dangerous themselves, can pose undue harm on an individual, and may be seen in a court of law as an infringement on rights guaranteed by the 14th ammendment, much like how Roe v. Wade was argued.

  • ||

    Let's turn this around. What you're saying is that any slut can get some guy to knock her up and demand 18+ years of financial servitude from the guy?

    No, I say if the chick was irresponsible enough to have unprotected sex with a man who has made no financial obligation to her, then the burden falls completely on her.

  • ||

    But then there's cases where, say, the guy says he will use a condom and then slips it off mid-coitus.

  • Cytotoxic||

    The pill.

  • ||

    That would be fraud. The guy intentionally exposed her to risks she was assured wouldn't be an issue.

    This would be like a stage magician doing a trick "catching" bullets. The stage hand has agreed to fire blank rounds. If the stage hand intentionally slips a live round in there, he would be guilty of murder.

  • ||

    1. Good luck enforcing that characterization of fraud without a written contract.

    2. In many cases there isn't discussion of it, the guy just puts a condom on and it's assumed he won't take it off.

    3. I seriously doubt that it's fraud in any case, as there is no economic transaction taking place. Harmful lies in general do not necessarily constitute fraud.

  • ||

    1. I agree it can be difficult, if not impossible to make a claim either way in court without documentation. But that's a logistical issue, not a rights issue. I'm not saying I have a solution for that.

    2. Implied contracts are often recognized. In this case, it's assumed that the woman isn't so naive that she doesn't understand that unprotected sex produces children.

    3. Monetary exchange is not required for fraud. All human interaction is economic interaction.

  • ||

    All human interaction is economic interaction.

    No way. If that were true the ridiculous expansion of the Commerce Clause would be justified.

  • ||

    If that were true the ridiculous expansion of the Commerce Clause would be justified.

    No it wouldn't. All decisions are economic decisions. But not all decisions are interstate commerce.

    Let's draw SOME kind of distinction between making an "economic decision" and "commerce" for God's sake.

  • ||

    All decisions are economic decisions.

    If everything is economic, then the term "economic" is meaningless. Which makes no sense.

  • ||

    I wouldn't say "everything" is economic, but economics is the study of human action with respect to scarcity. Just like physics is the study of physical phenomena, but you wouldn't say physics is meaningless just because it covers everything in the physical world.

  • ||

    Dude, you're non sequituring left and right. Plenty of human interaction has nothing to do with scarcity.

    Plus you're equivocating in your physics example; of course physics covers everything in the "physical world", that's why it's called "physical". Not every aspect of the world is physical.

  • matt||

    +1

  • ||

    No way. If that were true the ridiculous expansion of the Commerce Clause would be justified.

    Since not having sex raises the cost of sex, then everyone should be forced to have sex to keep the transactional costs affordable to everyone.

    Did I capture the flavor of Judge Pretzellogic?

  • ||

    We demand you cease this talk of free intercourse. Working-class sluts like us have to make a living. We've worked too many hard and long shafts just to scrape by due to the plummeting price of our goods to please everybody. Price controls are the only thing keeping us off the streets during the day.

  • ||

    Implied contracts are often recognized.

    No shit. Such as, the implied contract that you will financially support the spawn of any carnal union in which you take part.

  • Cytotoxic||

    WHERE IS THIS IMPLIED??

  • MJ||

    Where and when has it not been implied?

    The assumption of paternal responsibility for children is of long standing. Just because you don't want to be held responsible does not mean it does not exist.

    Furthermore the government has very limited ability to determine what verbal arrangments may or may not have been made prior to a coupling. All it sees is a kid that has right to parental support and some kind of evidence of paternity.

  • ||

    I say if the chick dude was irresponsible enough to have unprotected sex with a woman who has made no financial abortion obligation to her him, then the burden falls completely on her him.

  • ||

    I am not requiring an abortion obligation. I'm not saying the guy has a right to insist on an abortion, merely that he is not liable financially.

  • Ayn_Randian||

    Abortion is legal. Having an abortion, or not having one, is a choice. Once a woman makes the choice to either terminate or not terminate, she bears the full responsibility of that action.

    By your logic, sperm donors should be expected to provide child support.

    If a woman consents to exposing herself to a substance that causes pregnancy, a medical condition that happens only to women, then she should be responsible for the pregnancy.

  • ||

    By your logic, sperm donors should be expected to provide child support.

    Yes, they should.

  • Cytotoxic||

    You're insane.

  • ||

    If a woman consents to exposing herself to a substance that causes pregnancy, a medical condition that happens only to women, then she should be responsible for the pregnancy.

    You can't have a stable, civilized society that governs procreation and support of offspring according to such rules.

  • Cytotoxic||

  • ||

    That's your most intelligent post yet.

  • ||

    +1

  • ||

    The pro-life movement has solved this pretty explicitly. Take care of your children and don't kill them.

    What God made straight, man has made crooked.

  • Cytotoxic||

    These aren't children, they are fetuses.

  • ||

    Emergence from a vagina does not transform a lump of cells to be destroyed on a whim, into a human being. To argue otherwise would be insane.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Sapience does. We know for sure fetuses are not sapient. Until we have some way of knowing for sure when babies are sapient, we will use the moment of birth as a benchmark.

  • ||

    What definition of "sapience" are you using that fetuses certainly don't satisfy, but newborn infants might? Having functional lungs?

  • ||

    Ever seen a newborn? They're really surpassingly dumb. Not even remotely sapient. They will cry because they are hungry, then stick their fist in their mouths and prevent themselves from eating. That's stupidity on a heroic scale. My cat is more intelligent than a newborn.

    If it's potential for sapience, then that exists right from conception. So really, what you are looking for is some other standard. Viability is another common one, but medical technology is pushing viability further and further back. 20 weeks is now viable. In a hundred years it might be fifteen or even ten; if we develop artificial wombs it could be viable from day one.

    I'm not trying to take a stand, I am just trying to point out that the issue is not so simple.

  • Goob||

    "Sapience does. We know for sure fetuses are not sapient. Until we have some way of knowing for sure when babies are sapient, we will use the moment of birth as a benchmark."

    So...you pick a hard and fast rule out of your ass (sapience) and then proceed to admit that it isn't actually a good rule after all and so we should make an arbitrary rule.

    How about this- since your bullshit benchmark (sapience) sucks as a delimiter, it shouldn't be used. If only we could figure out a way to tell if the fetus is a human with inalienable rights...hmmmm....

  • ||

    Emergence from a vagina does not transform a lump of cells to be destroyed on a whim, into a human being. To argue otherwise would be insane.

    The fetus is attached to and dependent on the mother's body. It should therefore be considered a part of her body. Since she owns her body, she can do whatever she wishes with any part of her body.

  • ||

    Does it have to be attached to be dependent? When does it become independent?

  • ||

    When it stops voting Dem/Repub..? High fives?

  • ||

    When it stops voting Dem/Repub..? High fives?

  • ||

    Does it have to be attached to be dependent? When does it become independent?

    The important factor is that the fetus is a part of the mother's body. This is qualified by being both attached and dependent on the body of the mother.

    So if I'm getting a blood transfusion from somebody, that makes me part of his body?

    No, you are not dependent on his body, and whether you are physically attached to his body is questionable. You are connected by something that is not part of either body.

  • qwerty||

    So if I'm getting a blood transfusion from somebody, that makes me part of his body?

  • ||

    It's not attached to her body any more than your penis is during sex. Does that mean your paramour is free to chop off your penis while it's "part of her body"?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Actually, it is attached to her body you fucking idiot. PHYSICALLY AS ONE

  • ||

    Can siamese twins kill each other?

  • ||

    Say one twin has the liver and its the only working one? Since one is a parasite can the host just kill it?

  • prolefeed||

    Just because it is attached to her body doesn't make it part of her body. It has a separate genome, different DNA. You can cut off your own arm because you are destroying your own DNA. But, because the fetus has different DNA, it is a separate entity. Whether it is a human being at any given point in a pregnancy is the contentious matter, not whether it is part of her body, which it is not.

  • ||

    Just because it is attached to her body doesn't make it part of her body. It has a separate genome, different DNA. You can cut off your own arm because you are destroying your own DNA.

    The boundaries of the body is determined by what is attached and part of the circulatory system, not by DNA. You can cut your arm off because it is attached and part of you, not because it has the same DNA as the rest of you. Identical twins share the same genome, yet they are not a singular entity.

    But, because the fetus has different DNA, it is a separate entity. Whether it is a human being at any given point in a pregnancy is the contentious matter, not whether it is part of her body, which it is not.

    Whether something is a human being is determined by its DNA, not by stages of development. You have not shown that a fetus is not part of the mother's body.

  • ||

    The boundaries of the body is determined by what is attached and part of the circulatory system, not by DNA.

    Speaking of needing to educate yourself, at about 4-5 weeks into pregnancy the unborn entity develops its own circulatory system. It's not hooked up to the mother's system (which would obviously be a problem if the mom was type A and the unborn was type O, for instance).

  • ||

    Speaking of needing to educate yourself, at about 4-5 weeks into pregnancy the unborn entity develops its own circulatory system. It's not hooked up to the mother's system (which would obviously be a problem if the mom was type A and the unborn was type O, for instance).

    WRONG again Tulpa. The umbilical cord connects the circulatory systems of the mother and fetus. The fetus cannot breath on its own, since it lungs are filled with fluid. It needs the mother to bring in oxygen and nutrients and take away deoxygenated blood and waste. Are you seriously trying to argue about this with a bio major?

  • Matt C||

    Directly following birth, when a child is still "attached" to the mother's body per your definitions (by the umbilical cord), is it legal for the mother to stomp on the baby and kill it? Are we saying that the difference between a living human being with rights and effectively a tumor is the severance of the umbilical cord?

  • ||

    Directly following birth, when a child is still "attached" to the mother's body per your definitions (by the umbilical cord), is it legal for the mother to stomp on the baby and kill it? Are we saying that the difference between a living human being with rights and effectively a tumor is the severance of the umbilical cord?

    Directly following birth, the baby is no longer dependent on the mother. It uses its own lungs to support its circulatory system after exiting the womb. It is attached by the umbilical cord, but this attachment is no longer necessary, so I would consider the baby to not be part of the mother's body.

  • ||

    It's not attached to her body any more than your penis is during sex. Does that mean your paramour is free to chop off your penis while it's "part of her body"?

    LOL, I think you need to educate yourself a little bit Tulpa. The fetus is physically attached by the umbilical cord, which it is also dependent on to operate. The fetus doesn't just sit inside the mother.

    Can siamese twins kill each other?

    Neither entity is dependent on the other, they are just attached. They share vital organs, but the organs are not owned exclusively by one.

  • ||

    Neither entity is dependent on the other, they are just attached.

    This contradicts your new "circulatory system" definition of personhood that you pulled out of your ass five minutes later.

  • ||

    This contradicts your new "circulatory system" definition of personhood that you pulled out of your ass five minutes later.

    The circulatory system is not part of my definition of personhood, it just happens to be the reason why a fetus should be considered part of the mother's body. What I said doesn't contradict anything. Neither twin can be said to dependent on the other, they usually share organs.

    Also, this has been my position on abortion for years.

  • ||

    Chris! You're back!

  • ||

    Not really. I'm about quality instead of quantity these days.

  • ||

    And what quality it is. Three cheers for abstinence!

  • ||

    Chris does quality...for god!

  • ||

    The answer is pretty simple; the biological reality is that the woman is the one carries the baby to term, so the decision is ultimately hers. The man gets to pay child support. Solution: wear a rubber or get snipped if you don't want a woman making major life decisions for you.

  • ||

    Or wait till you're married to have sex.

    Radical notion, I know.

  • ||

    Waiting until you are married to have sex doesn't change anything that toxic was saying.

  • Jeff||

    Makes total sense - encourage kids to get married ASAP. I've never known a horny 18 year old to make a bad decision, have you?

  • ||

    We could add that you can get divorced by saying 'I divorce you' three times. That would help.

    But then the christians would claim we were implementing sharia law.

  • Cytotoxic||

    +1

  • ||

    Why should the assumption in favor of keeping a child if a child was never the intended consequence by either of the participants.

  • ||

    IOW, why is the default position that 'you will pay for this child even if you never agreed to" rather than "without an agreement in advance neither party is under any obligation to the other for any offspring that may result from this act"?

    If women want to be equal, let's see them assume the same responsibilities.

  • ||

    I guess when men can have the fetus implanted in them so they can carry the baby and give birth (ala that Governator movie), then we can talk about equal rights. For the foreseeable future, the buck stops with the woman. That's why she makes the decision. You don't like that, keep your pants on.

  • Jeff||

    I've always been fascinated with the argument that if men don't want to be held responsible for a child, they shouldn't have sex. My fascination stems from two sources:

    (1) The nexus between sex and reproduction was shattered largely when condoms got effective and the pill became common. To suggest that the average person anticipates a child out of every sexual encounter is to ignore reality.

    (2) The argument justifies the banning of abortion. It's impossible to say to men "if you don't want to be responsible for the care of a child, keep your pants on" without saying the exact same thing to women. Why allow abortion if the woman could have avoided the whole problem had she not had sex?

  • ||

    (1) Ignorance of the limitations of contraception does not grant special rights to those who use it.

    (2) I agree!

  • ||

    +1

    The risk is the same with flying. I can reasonably expect to fly safely today, but I don't get to make the claim that I shouldn't die or get hurt in a plane crash.

  • Cytotoxic||

    WHAT LIMITS?

  • ||

    1) Yeah but in cases where the woman gets knocked up, it's because you haven't severed the nexus. I.e. you didn't wear your raincoat. And accidents still happen.

    2) It's just a biological fact of life. Men don't have a great deal of control over children. They don't have to raise them, give birth, or nurse them. They can walk away. The lower level of responsibility also means you don't get to interfere that much. I mean, would it be right to force a woman to have an abortion because the father wants one? That's not very libertarian is it? So basically your position boils down to not wanting men to pay child support unless they want to. So you are encouraging men to just leave a bunch of bastards around town that they don't have to support. And so the rest of society ends up footing the entire tab. No thanks.

  • Jeff||

    Toxic - that's simply not true. The condom could break, vasectomy could be untied, the woman could lie about her use of the pill. It's not as easy as "if pregnant, no condom was used."

    Your second argument is rooted in nothing more than gender stereotypes - the stuff equal protection claims are made of. The fact of the matter is that men are on the hook for an unreasonable amount of child support, mainly because woman's groups have pushed for child support over alimony (because the former lasts for 18-24 years and the latter lasts for a fixed sum of time or until remarriage).

    Men are on the hook if they are raped and the female rapist gets pregnant and if the male is statutorily raped by a woman who is convicted of stat rape. The standard is currently out of control.

    As for your other point about bastard kids running around - how does payment of child support correct marriage deficiencies? The kid would still be a "bastard" if his/her father pays child support. All this reform would do is align responsibilities with benefits and control. Women currently have a huge majority of the control, so they should shoulder the brunt of the costs.

  • MJ||

    Jeff,

    (1) No, no it was not. Anyone who has sex (even with contraceptives)and does not understand and accept the risk that it could result in a child is fooling themselves. Contraceptives are varying degrees of imperfect.

    (2) Ah, so you've noticed that logic of abortion rights does not actually have anything to do with "reproductive equality"?

    You are really quite credulous, aren't you?

  • Jeff||

    MJ, I never suggested that people don't appreciate that a kid can be the result of safe sex, just that the nexus between sex and reproduction has largely been shattered by contraceptives. It's nowhere near as fair to say now that if you don't want kids, don't have sex as it was 70 years ago.

    Besides, I thought a whole host of people in this country believe on a religion that's founded on the assumption that even the abstinent can get pregnant. What about those situations?

  • ||

    Sue God for child support..?

  • ||

    Ack. Response to Jeff.

  • MJ||

    "It's nowhere near as fair to say now that if you don't want kids, don't have sex as it was 70 years ago."

    "Fair"? That's a childish complaint for when reality requires one to take responsibility for the consequences of one's actions. Anyone who uses it does not have the emotional maturity to be having sex at all.

    Why are you bringing religion into it? Is that the only way you can argue agianst the constraints of morals and ethics put on you by railing on religion?

  • Jeff||

    MJ, I never suggested that people don't appreciate that a kid can be the result of safe sex, just that the nexus between sex and reproduction has largely been shattered by contraceptives. It's nowhere near as fair to say now that if you don't want kids, don't have sex as it was 70 years ago.

    Besides, I thought a whole host of people in this country believe on a religion that's founded on the assumption that even the abstinent can get pregnant. What about those situations?

  • ||

    I don't see what implantation has to do with anything.

    As it stands now a woman has a complete legal right to disavow any responsibility for the care of an offspring by having an abortion.

    She should not be able to impose any obligation on a man because she didn't make that choice.

    Again, don't expect others to subsidize your belief system.

  • ||

    The man had sex of his own will.

    One, well known, possible result of sex is conception.

    He imposed it upon himself.

  • ||

    And...

    So did the woman...She has a clear and legal right to walk away from the baby.

    Either force her to have the kid or let the father have the same right to disavow any responsibility just like she has now.

    Oh, noes, teh wymyns are such helpless widdle fwagile victims.

  • ||

    This is why abortion is such a moral issue. Why is the decision (in a case like this) squarely on one person's shoulders.

    It works the other way around. What about men who wanted the woman to carry the child and let them keep it, no strings attached and she wants to terminate it?

    Who's kid is it?

  • Matt C||

    This is an unfortunate result of the interpretation of the Due Process Clause in Roe. The reason the situation doesn't swing both ways is that a man is not physically at risk during a pregnancy, whereas every woman takes on some - admittedly small - risk to her health during pregnancy. Therefore, a woman holds the power because her life is litterally at risk.

  • ||

    But you are expecting society to subsidize your belief system by providing the adoption out, foster care, food stamps, welfare, the earned income credit, etc. Single motherhood/child abandonment isn't exactly a great social boon.

  • ||

    I would be absolutely fine with the state telling women that their spawn are not going to be subsidized.

  • ||

    If not the state, then charities will. Having a bunch of starved ill clad abandoned children running around so you can get your nut off without any consequences besides catching something nasty isn't going to happen.

  • Tick||

    As the open borders supporters say: "End welfare". Single mothers should be responsible for their own actions.

  • ||

    People that engage in risky activities freely, freely accept the risk.

    Innocent people shouldn't become victims of irresponsible risk takers.

  • Cytotoxic||

    So...a man must pay support for a decision that isn't his? Yeah for responsibility without power!

  • ||

    He made his decision by having sex.

  • Cytotoxic||

    So every sexual encounter is a trap now? The man made no decision. It's up to the woman. She can pill it or abort it or whatever. If she wants someone else's money, fuck her.

  • ||

    Not a trap. More like a contract.

    Again, if you don't work out the terms that's your own fault.

  • ||

    So every sexual encounter is a trap now?

    Every sexual encounter has been a trap since the dawn of the human species. It's nature's trap. You think we evolved to be happy? No, we evolved to perpetuate the species, even if we don't want to.

    The reason we have libidos and orgasms is to make us do what it makes no sense to do.

  • ||

    Plus, my computer doesn't ask me to grab it a towel afterwards, I don't have to sleep next to it, and it doesn't have legal rights.

    No kids. No abortions. No contracts. Safe!

  • Stormy Dragon||

    If "should have used a rubber" is sufficient justification for physical force against the male parent, why is that not justification for physical force against the female parent?

  • ||

    Bingo!!!!!

  • ||

    Who is advocating for physical force against the father?

  • ||

    Throwing men in jail for nonpayment of child support is pretty physical...and.. forcefull too.

  • ||

    Sure is. And one of the worst abuses of modern Government.

  • ||

    I don't support doing that. It also makes no sense from the POV of trying to get the child support paid, since they're not making any money in jail.

  • ||

    Funny story. My dad got thrown in jail for not paying child support on his first kids from a previous marriage. Those kids were like 14 or something. My brother and me were toddlers. My Mom didn't work. I guess as long as EVERYBODY loses, it's fair..

  • ||

    FUCK.CHILD. SUPPORT.

  • Jeff||

    The solution I've always been in favor of is a simple one - the woman retains absolute control over the decision to have an abortion but, if by the time the fetus is viable (the point at which abortions are typically illegal), the father disclaims all his rights and responsibilities, he is excused from payment of child support. He also has no rights to visitation, inheritance through the child, etc and will be treated as a sperm donor.

  • ||

    Again, a guy can now impregnate as many women as he wants and just demand an abortion and get off scot-free.

    A woman who undergoes an abortion can not plausibly be said to get off scot-free.

  • Jeff||

    Two problems with your argument. First, if a guy is known to run around and knock up women, it's on the women for having sex with a known douche. What's more, there is nothing stopping the women from demanding condoms and taking the pill prior to sex.

    (2) Women can get off essentially Scot-free. Not all abortions are that invasive. RU-486 basically causes minimal cramping if taken early enough. Plan B, although not technically an abortion, is now at a point where they are getting geared up to have its effective date extended to a week. It causes a premature period.

    Besides, even if the woman undergoes more discomfort, that is offset by the fact that she retains more control. All she foregoes is child support. She has ultimate control over whether the fetus is born.

  • Cytotoxic||

    This.

  • ||

    If a woman is known not to want to have abortions, then it's on the guys who have sex with her.

    (There's pretty much no way you can say "it's on the woman" that doesn't just as easily turn around to say "it's on the man").

  • Jeff||

    Actually there is a very easy way to say "it's on the woman" but not "it's on the man" - instances of fraud. Cases where women lie overtly about taking contraceptives or where condoms are sabotaged in order to get pregnant uniquely affect men. It's readily apparent to a woman whether a man is wearing a condom, it is not apparent to a man whether a woman is on a pill. What's more, a woman has an absolute right to have an abortion at will prior to fetal viability. The man has no similar check on the pregnancy. An opt-out provision would balance the playing field.

  • ||

    A man can lie about vasectomy and/or sabotage the condom.

  • ||

    In all honesty, I've never met or heard about a guy doing that, documented at any rate. It just doesn't seem to make sense to me.

    OTOH, I've known a few guys who are now paying child support because of the "don't worry I'm on the pill" story.
    I'm just pointing out that it seems much, much more likely for a woman to lie about contraception than it would be for a man.

    Motherhood without marriage seems to be the new norm.

  • ||

    It's appalling that the couple thinks so little of Down Syndrome people. Because of their ignorance, they shouldn't be allowed to raise children EVER. We don't need them to continue spreading their hate and ignorance.

    The only thing that needs to be killed here is the stigma against anyone who's not "normal."

  • Ayn_Randian||

    They do not want a Down's baby.

    Most people don't.

    Now, if you'll just step down from that horse there, we might get along.

  • wackyjack||

    They don't want their child to be gay.

    Most people don't.

    FIFY

  • Ayn_Randian||

    And your point is...?

  • wackyjack||

    Is there a court that would uphold a contract with that clause?

  • ||

    So, you're equating being gay, to being mentally disabled?

  • wackyjack||

    In the sense that they are both genetic traits that will, in different ways, make the child's life more difficult? Yeah. You don't think being gay is more of a social challenge for children than being straight?

    And if there comes a day when a "gay gene" is identified (no, that's not how genes work), do you really believe there won't be abortions based on that discovery?

  • ||

    Down's syndrome is more than just a matter of how others socially perceive you.

  • wackyjack||

    The suicide rate among people with Down Syndrome is low (though depression itself is hard to diagnose). The suicide rate among gay adolescents is high.

    A child with Down Syndrome is more likely to live a full life at diminished cognitive capacity. However, that lack of cognitive ability impairs their knowledge of their own condition.

    A gay child is more likely to be depressed, recognize their feelings, and kill themselves.

    Which is better? No clue. But more relevant to the discussion, is one more of a burden than another?

  • wackyjack||

    When I say "no clue," I mean in a quantitative moral sense. I fully believe that living a life of impairment is better than committing suicide. But having more contact with depressed people than those with disabilities, my judgement is my own.

  • ||

    The reason people don't want a Down Syndrome baby isn't because they are worried about the child being socially sigmatized. It is because they want children who will eventually be independent and sucessful, have children of their own and get rich. Which Down Syndrome more or less precludes. A child who is a permanent dependent dashes most of the hopes parents have when they choose to procreate.

  • wackyjack||

    Which is my point. In certain circles, a gay child would stigmatize the parents more than a disabled child. But only one of those things is viewed as an acceptable reason to prevent a child from being born.

    Besides, there are no guarantees that a child will be rich and successful and independent. A disability skews the odds, to be sure. But aborting children who might not fit your ideal isn't parenting.

  • ||

    And Down's children are still born and raised by parents who knew about the extra chromosome long before delivery every day. Down's babies are not less human than "normal" ones.

    Morally, it's a no-brainer. The genetic parents are acting like a couple of privileged (yeah, I went there) disgusting people. I'd rather (but would not mandate) they not raise any children.

  • ||

    Let's not minimize the sacrifice associated with a normal couple -- ie, not the Palins who can afford to hire help -- having a Down's syndrome child. It's going to consume your entire existence in a way that a normal child will not, and for the entire life of the child, not just 18 years.

    I still don't think that's justification for killing the child, but let's ease the condemnation for the genetic couple not wanting to burden themselves with it.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Lots of assumptions there. The degree of impairment is unknown at this point. While a child with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities (a likely outcome) will typically require additional supports through school, with that support many can live independently, or with only minimal support.

  • The Beckoning||

    Because a "normal couple" has never raised a happy, healthy child with Down's.

  • Trig||

    Gooble gobble gooble gobble we accept we accept you you one of us!

  • ||

    That's pretty shitty.

  • ||

    Wait a minute, wait a minute.

    You mean to tell me that not everyone in Canada is born with Down Syndrome? Huh, learn something every day.

  • ||

    Mongoloid he was a mongoloid
    Happier than you and me
    Mongoloid he was a mongoloid
    And it determined what he could see
    Mongoloid he was a mongoloid
    One chromosome too many

  • ||

    STEVE SMITH?

  • Apostate Jew||

    I'm surprised the guy who wore a hat and had a job and brought home the bacon wasn't mentioned earlier.

  • ||

    I've been busy today. Many thanks to Episarch for taking up my slack.

  • Some dude||

    I don't see the quandary. The whole basis for abortion is that a woman has the right to privacy and the right to her own body (including her uterus). Nobody can prevent her from having an abortion. Or force her to have an abortion. It is her body.

  • qwerty||

    The fetus isn't part of her body, and the adoptive parents have a legitimate claim to it.

  • ||

    They can make their claim and live up to their voluntarily assumed obligations after the baby is born.

  • ||

    They have a claim, yes. Just like parents have a claim to their newborn baby.

    That claim does not include the option to destroy it.

  • ||

    You can't make an analogy to property here, and then make a special case about not destroying it.

  • ||

    Where did I make a property analogy?

  • Alice||

    How is somthing atached to you that lives off of you not part of your body?

  • Logfile||

    How is something attached to you that lives off of you a part of your body?

  • ||

    When do they stop 'living off' you?

    I'm going with 14 to 15 years.

  • Tick||

    WTF?

  • ||

    Drop an 8 yr old off in the deep woods and they probably aren't gonna make it.

  • Mowgli||

    Sats who?

  • prolefeed||

    When it has different DNA and has the potential to live independent of you, it is not a part of your body. It is not murder to cut off your arm or your leg or remove your lung because those have your DNA.

  • Some dude||

    I think the scientific consensus is that any fetus isn't part of the mother's body. It doesn't matter.

  • ||

    Nobody can prevent her from having an abortion. Or force her to have an abortion. It is her body.

    Except if she signs a contract waving that right.

    But it doesn't appear that she did in this case.

  • ||

    A contract waiving that right would be unenforceable. Maybe not in hellertopia, but in the real world.

  • ||

    So what? Are we arguing about the morality of the issue or are we talking about current law?

  • qwerty||

    Contracts, contracts, contracts.

    Under normal circumstances, the surrogate shouldn't have a say, because legally, the baby should belong to the adoptive parents. I realize that that isn't how the law works now, but it should be changed. Therefore, in qwertyworld, the surrogate doesn't get to decide.

    Of course the second question is, is abortion permissible to begin with? I'm part of the 0.07% of the population that is undecided on abortion, so I'll make no pronouncements here.

  • qwerty||

    "Under the agreement the trio signed, the surrogate’s choice would mean absolving the couple of any responsibility for raising the child"

    OK, well if that's what the contract says, there ya go. The baby belongs to the surrogate now.

  • Wind Rider||

    This. Kind of an extension of the "Pottery Barn Rule". You bear it, you bought it.

    If the fetus was being carried in the biological mother's uterus, it seems they'd decide to abort. It's the surrogate's decision to carry to term, so, she wants to do so, she assumes responsibility for the outcome.

  • ||

    Let's be clear here: you support forcing the surrogate to undergo an abortion.

  • ||

    That's what I'm seeing. But, I also understand the argument that qwerty is making.

    I see it as a storage issue,which is what the contract seems to stipulate.

    I'll store your stuff until you stop paying,which forfeits ownership, or claim it.

  • qwerty||

    Well, I guess yeah, if that is what the contract states. If this seems horrible, consider that

    A) The baby belongs to the adoptive parents, not the surrogate.

    B) If the surrogate isn't willing to agree to the terms if the contract, don't sign it.

    C) The government uses force to enforce contracts all the time. (Note that the work enforce contains the work "force") The government can file injunctions, garnish wages, shut down businesses, all of which require force. OK, forcing the abortion is more gruesome, but she signed the contract.

    D) If she flees the country and comes back with the newborn, she owns it, since she breached the contract.

  • qwerty||

    Note that this particular contract didn't have a clause like that, so in this case, you can't force the abortion. All I am saying is that it should be legal to make a contract that would result in a forced abortion IF THE WOMAN AGREES TO IT.

  • qwerty||

    Of course, all this assumes that abortion is OK to begin with, and I'm ambivalent about that.

  • ||

    As long as abortion is legal I agree.

    But if she decides to not abort, the adoptive parents don't owe a damn thing.

  • ||

    The government can file injunctions, garnish wages, shut down businesses, all of which require force.

    Bodily force vs. economic force. Very different.

  • Xenocles||

    Nonsense. What do you think happens if the object of any of those things resists effectively?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Tulpa will turn a blind eye.

  • ||

    DUDE. Babies don't 'belong' to anyone. They belong to themselves, like everyone else. Self-ownership, with the stipulation that children have a set of attendant rights to be provided for in the first part of life.

  • qwerty||

    My kids don't belong to me in the sense that my car belongs to me. The kids have rights. But they definitely "belong" to me in the sense that I get to make decisions on their behalf, and to some extent, I can make them do things that they don't want to do, while a stranger cannot do this.

    If a fetus is a person with the same rights as you or me, then abortion is not OK in the first place, and neither the surrogate or the adoptive parents could abort it. But if it is something less than you or me, and as long as abortion is legal, it is a legitimate question to ask who gets to decide whether it is aborted.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    because legally, the baby should belong to the adoptive parents


    Uh no. Babies do not belong to their parents.

  • ||

    This is news!! Who do they belong to?

  • ||

    They don't belong to anyone in the sense of chattel property, which is what the original poster was assuming.

  • ||

    Babies are the 'RESPONSIBILITY' of their parents. This means that parents assume the responsibility to provide for the well-being of the infant. If they cannot or refuse to respect the child's rights to be nurtured, then society, usually in the form of government, has to step in.

    Nobody gets to sidestep children's rights.

  • ||

    How can I be responsible for something that isn't mine?

  • ||

    Should say: "Forced to be responsible.."

  • ||

    Yes - just like, being a member of society, you'll be forced to protect the rights to life, liberty and property of adults. The point is that Children have a special attendant set of rights, which are no less features of nature than the aforementioned rights to LLP.

    Parental responsibility is not about property rights: it's socially optimal, both for the well-being of children and from the perspective of ensuring people take responsibility for their sexuality. Children's rights are unaffected in their potentially social scope.

  • ||

    I am sure the government will solve this for us. No need to worry.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Obviously the woman can't be forced to have an abortion procedure done. Assuming the contract was silent about this situation it would seem that the couple would be ultimately responsible for the baby.

  • ¢||

    Under the agreement the trio signed, the surrogate’s choice would mean absolving the couple of any responsibility for raising the child

    Uh, problem solved?

    Except that "the couple" still lives, and they're assholes. Vacuum their heads flat and give all their stuff to some 'tards.

  • Cytotoxic||

    They're assholes for not wanting to raise a retard or bring one into the world? I guess everyone with half a brain is an asshole then.

  • ||

    Dude!! Really?

  • ||

    Don't be an asshole. 'Retards' have as much right to life, and as good a quality of life, as anyone else. If you had some bloody contact with them you might realize that.

  • ||

    Oh, and it looks like others are finally starting to realize we are over legislated and regulated .

    Check this one out. Finally seeing what we talk about on here in a major (even the NYDN is major, right?) publication is somewhat heartening. I expect this from Philip K Howard. He's no Balko, but does a good job of pointing some things out.

  • Ayn_Randian||

    Why not treat this as kind of "garbage rule" (for lack of a better term) - the parents have communicated their intent to discard the fetus, but someone else wants it. What more could you ask for?

  • ||

    I think my soul just threw up a little.

  • ||

    The EPA should make you recycle your kids. That's just horrible to throw them in the landfill like that.

  • ||

    Under the agreement the trio signed, the surrogate’s choice would mean absolving the couple of any responsibility for raising the child, the treating doctor told a recent fertility-medicine conference.

    Standard IINAFL disclaimer.

    Whoa Nellie. I'm not certain that will hold up in court. It's their kid.

    Morally, the parents (the surrogate is not a parent) have an obligation to raise the child after it is delivered. They can't force the surrogate to abort their child, they are stuck with the consequences.

    I've only known one Down's child. He was a joy to be around and adored by both his parents. "Stuck with" may not be the best choice of words but that is likely how the parents view the situation.

    Adopt the child out of their lives? IMHO, that's less objectionable than completely denying responsibility for their child.

    300+ comments easily. I'm placing the 24 hour Over/Under at 625½. ;-)

  • Neu Mejican||

    JsubD,

    Well said. This about covers it.
    If push comes to shove,however, the court will take the welfare of the child as the primary factor determining what happens. If the parents are hostile to the idea of raising their child, then the courts are likely to take custody and look for an adoptive couple. They should find themselves stuck with the bill, however.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Having now read the source article...there is reference to US jurisdictions where the surrogate may be forced to pay the biological couple for the additional costs of her decision.

    Hmmm...

    I do think, of course, the couple going in should have found a surrogate that aligned with their beliefs around abortion in case a situation like this arose.

    For the record, the surrogate agreed to an abortion in this case. Coercion without force on display, it seems.

  • BitterOptimist||

    "Under the agreement the trio signed, the surrogate’s choice would mean absolving the couple of any responsibility for raising the child"

    Yea, I don't see the problem.

  • Chris||

    Here's the real problem this case may result in:

    "Dr. Ken Seethram, revealing the unusual situation for the first time, said it raises questions about whether government oversight of contracts between mothers and “commissioning” parents is needed."

  • ||

    There already is government oversight of all contracts, surrogate parenthood included, the courts.

  • Alice||

    This is silly. That couple can't force anybody to have an abortion. If she refuses there is nthing anyone an do about it. Just like that woman can't force the cuple to raise the child.

  • PIRS||

    Suppose I am a sculpter. You ask me to sculpt a bust of Ludwig von Mises. You don't like the way it turns out and you refuse to pay for it.

    Now suppose I DO like the way it turned out and want to keep it.

    Can you force me to destroy it if I want to keep it since you do not?

  • ||

    If a novelist authorizes a movie made based on his novel, often the contract stipulates that the novelist must approve the script for the movie to be made.

    If the novelist doesn't like the script, the scriptwriter can't turn around and make a movie out of it.

  • PIRS||

    The argument only works if you accept the concept of IP (a whole new thread).

    In any case are you comparing genetic material to intelectual property?

  • Jeff||

    If the movie was "substantially completed" (which is likely the rough analogy to the kid in the stomach), then it's actually less likely that the court would enjoin production (read: mandate abortion) and more likely that they would simply award damages (severance of parental care).

    This analogy really doesn't hold, anyways. The problem is that you're comparing a script to a "baby" and a government forced surgery. The two aren't even close in terms of common sense or judicial equity.

  • ||

    The test revealed Down's in the first trimester. In pregnancy terms that's pretty early in "production".

    Of course, this discussion is moot anyway since according to the article the surrogate wound up having an abortion (she was already the mother of two kids).

  • ||

    I like this analogy.

    One big difference is the process. It's possible to determine size, material, pose, etc. as well as check on progress and discuss outcome.

    Not possible with a child. As far as the attributes go.

  • ||

    Unless it's a very unusual sculture, it probaby doesn't require constant attention and care for the rest of your life.

  • hmm||

    Is the sheep okay and getting counseling?

  • NoStar||

    Leave it to Virginia Ironsides to sort it all out.

    Click on my name or cut&paste;:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RAAhTL4Arg

  • ||

    Certainly the surrogate cannot be forced to kill. The rest is decided by the terms of the contract.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    The surrogate producer is obviously delivering an inferior product, and the adoptive consumers should be under no obligation to accept delivery or pay the producer. However, they also have no legal authority to determine the disposition of the defective product.

    This whole fiasco was probably payed for by Canadian taxpayers. Fuck that shit.

  • wackyjack||

    But if the product is defective because of the raw materials the consumers provided, then they are on the hook for it.

  • ||

    Is there a "must have abortion if baby has a syndrome" clause in their contract?

  • Even if there was...||

    the surrogate could refuse, but of course be in breach of contract. She could not demand the couple provide further financial assistance. This still doesn't answer all of the questions.

  • ||

    Does the surrogate want to keep the baby for herself?

    or does she want to have the baby and make her employers raise it?

  • crayon||

    FUCK YEAH!

    FUCK THAT RETARD!

    FUCK THE MOMS!

    LET'S KILL ALL THE KIDS WE DON'T WANT SO WE CAN DO FUN STUFF!

    JOHN WAYNE, MUTHERFUCKERS, JOHN WAYNE!

    HURRRRRRR DURRR!

  • Jeff||

    Have you ever raised a child with a serious birth defect or deformity? The effect on the parents is visible and oftentimes manifests itself in exhaustion, divorce, and misery. The children are rarely any better off, as many times the kids lead isolated and meaningless lives, only to be forced into state care when the parents can no longer provide and care for the child.

    It's one thing to care for a child with this type of disorder when he's 2 or 3. It's another when he's 26, 6"3 and 260 pounds.

  • ||

    Are you seriously replying to a post made by someone named "crayon" who can't find the capslock key, and says "hurr durr"?

  • Jeff||

    No, not...anymore.

  • ||

    Don't you dare judge whether someone else's life is 'meaningless'.

  • ||

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    THANK YOU.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    The effect on the parents is visible and oftentimes manifests itself in exhaustion, divorce, and misery. The children are rarely any better off, as many times the kids lead isolated and meaningless lives, only to be forced into state care when the parents can no longer provide and care for the child.


    Why not just turn the children over to state care upon birth.

    It's another when he's 26, 6"3 and 260 pounds.
    reply to this


    Would the parents have a legal obligation to support such a child?

  • ||

    If the kid is going to be Canadian then abortion is the only answer from a strictly libertarian pov...

  • Ryanxxx||

    FTW

  • ||

    Unless they apologize for Oilers past 4 seasons.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    KILL THE BABY, KILL THE BABY!!!!

  • Jeff||

    Simple problem, simple solution. Turn to the surrogacy contract. Was there a clause that allowed for the non-biological parents to reserve a right to mandate abortion in the instance of birth defect or deformity or was the contract simply one that requires the surrogate to give birth.

    If the former, the court should inform the biological carrier that she will be in breach if she does not abort and should provide the "real" parents with a right to disclaim responsibility/possession of the child.

    If the latter - the court should hold that the "real" parents have no right to modify the terms of the contract, that the child will be born, and that they will be the parents of the child. Next time hire an attorney, bitchez.

  • ||

    Spot on.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    However, courts generally cannot compell specific performance in the case of a breach, only assess damages. So unless there's also some sort of penalty clause, the court will have a hard time punishing the surrogate unless it's going to set a precedent that being expected to care for your own biological children constitutes a tort.

  • Jeff||

    Specific performance is available in instances of personal services. If a painting can be specifically performed on the grounds that it's "personal," it's hard to see how child birth isn't equally personal.

    Wrongful birth IS a tort in most jurisdictions. What's more, the surrogate is an agent who is now acting beyond the scope of her agency. The action will cause damage - the added cost of caring for a child with special needs v. the cost of caring for a normal child. Under equity and agency, she's on the hook.

  • ||

    Wrongful birth IS a tort in most jurisdictions.

    Has any court ever awarded damages for that tort, or is it just one of those debate topics at lawyer cocktail parties.

  • Jeff||

    Yeah, tons of them have. It's a really common tort where a doctor negligently performs a surgery like a vasectomy that s/he recommended because the man/woman were both carriers of some genetic disorder that would be horrid. When the surgery is botched and a kid with the disorder is produced, the doctor is on the hook. The measure of damages varies from state to state, but most are willing to allow recovery AT LEAST for intensive child care from 0-18/21.

  • ||

    Wrongful Birth and Wrongful Life torts are all the evidence needed to prove that lawyers are evil bastards.

  • Jeff||

    Government - you strike me as an asshole so I'll spell this out for you. Say you have a couple. H & W suffer from a debilitating, but moderate case of a genetic disease. If they have a child, they have a 95% chance of the child being born with a severe form of the disease that will result in a shortened life, agony, and a requirement of round the clock care. Doctor is aware of this and fucks up the vasectomy in a huge way, facts notwithstanding. H and W have a kid who - surprise - has the disease.

    Why shouldn't the doctor be on the hook for the added costs? Is it socially better to allocate the costs of a doctor's negligence to the patients who have no way of protecting themselves?

    Dumbass.

  • ||

    OK - Civility is possible and preferable.

    I object to the consideration of human life as ever being a question of costs. It's the same argument that appalls me coming from Death Penalty advocates who say that execution saves us money. If costs are incurred, it should not be the 'birth' and especially not the 'life' that are considered somehow wrongful. In this case, the right thing is for society to lessen the burden on parents. Yes, that does mean taxes. Supporting children, who occupy a special place in the moral superstructure, is a basic human obligation, assuming that famine does not prevail. Not every mistake must be addressed as 'blame justice' or a question of restitution. If the doctor acted negligently, then they should be censured by their medical board.

    I am deeply averse to the judgement of the value of another person's life. I will say without any intention of moral sanctimony that all human life is precious. When we shut down our appreciation of the joys and special moments that even the most disabled individual shares in, we shut down the most profoundly good part of our humanity.

    This medium does not lend itself to civility, but I think it's worth trying. If I gave offense, I apologise: I think you're horribly wrong, but II don't know you. Given that you produce real arguments, I'll assume the best.

  • Jeff||

    Tulpa - your instincts are pretty right. Wrongful conception and wrongful birth are different terms for the same tort. Same thing, different states.

    Government - Don't get weepy about civility after slandering a whole profession of people who, on the whole, end up donating a shit load of time to help those who are too poor to afford legal services. Attitudes like yours are the reason why I don't do one second of pro bono work. After all, if I'm gonna do the proverbial time, I might as well do the crime.

    You can object to the consideration of life being about costs all you want. Tell that to H & W who now have to decide which of them will stay at home, lose 1/2 their income, and will be on the hook for potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars of care over the next several years. The average family can't afford that, so unless you have a better solution, tort seems to be a pretty good out.

    Why speak out against tort but then call for censor? Isn't that the same thing as blame justice, just in equitable rather than fiscal form? Ever since Hadley v. Baxendale, courts have recognized that the blame and burden should fall to the party who was best positioned to avoid it. If the doctor negligently does something that causes injury, that's no different than if A drunkenly runs a light and crashes into B. Why tax payers should pay for private mistakes, rather than have the externalizes internalized is far beyond me.

  • ||

    That sounds more like a "wrongful conception" tort than "wrongful birth" (whatever the legal terminology is). In this case the genetic parents (obviously) intended and wanted to conceive a child, so it has nothing to do with the cases you're talking about.

  • ||

    If sprint can make me pay 200 fucking dollars to cancel their insanely complex contract, I've got no doubt some legal team would have no problem coming up with a 500-page 7pt font contract for instances of surrogacy, with a disclaimer that I should be awarded damages equal to the sum of all expenditures on the little genetic freak until the age of 18.

  • Cytotoxic||

    There should've have been a more specific clause in the contract for this kind of incident. Either way, it's horrific that someone actually wants to sacrifice their own life (in effect) for a retarded yet-to-be-born entity. It's like dying to save a really nice Labrador Retriever.

  • ||

    Retarded people are dogs. Nice.

  • Cytotoxic||

    No, they have full rights as people once they are born. But the surrogate should not be sacrificing herself for something that is really less than a full person.

  • ||

    Nice, real nice.

  • ||

    So from your perspective, fetuses go from Labrador Retriever to "full person" in a hot second at birth, turning the vaginal wall into a some sort of rights-instilling car wash for babies.

    At any rate, you're particularly lucky that that our worth as human beings are not dependent on our mental faculties.

  • prolefeed||

    I don't think the surrogate would see it as a sacrifice if she * chose * to carry the fetus to term and deliver and take care of it. (The fact that she ended up aborting the baby indicates she thought it through and decided it would, for her, be a sacrifice to do all that, and so she backed off.)

    Unless you think all parents are sacrificing themselves, in which case I would strongly advise you to not make that sacrifice and remove yourself from the gene pool.

  • ||

    I see your troll is as good as mine.

  • ||

    Another reason why it should be legal to kill babies at birth.

  • ||

    Another? What were the past one(s)?

  • ||

    Even for noormal parents, you might not know about a disability until after the baby is born.

    But in the case of a surrogate mother, your really don't have a choice until it is.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Agreed.

  • ||

    I guess I'm just not of the opinion that having a disability is a capital offense.

    And seeing bleeding hearts who oppose capital punishment for rapists and murderers turn around and say disabled children should be killed is doubly vomitous.

  • Cytotoxic||

    People are sapient. If something isn't sapient, then it isn't being 'punished', just disposed of.

  • ||

    So killing a person in a coma is OK.

    Hell, killing a person in their sleep would be OK by that logic.

  • ||

    No it wouldn't. A sleeping sapient being is still a sapient being.

    We can distinguish between sleeping humans and fetuses can't we? If so then why not sleeping humans and newborn babies?

    Let's just not let the fact that babies are cute and are sacred cows get in the way of the fact that a disabled baby is going to be a permanent burden either to it's family or society. Shouldn't the parents have the choice of whether they want to spend the rest of their lives caring for a disabled child? And if not, then what if no charitable organization is willing to do it? Should the burden be imposed on the state?

    I'd just extend to legality of abortion to a day or two after birth.

    It actually used to be not uncommon for defective babies to be left to die by exposure.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I agree, but post-birth euthanasia should be only for really retarded babies. I'm uncomfortable with extending it to the unretarded until we have some proven way of determining when the baby gains sapience ie personhood. For now, for the unretarded, we should use birth as the benchmark.

  • prolefeed||

    I'd just extend to legality of abortion to a day or two after birth ...
    Cytotoxic|10.10.10 @ 6:53PM|#

    I agree, but post-birth euthanasia should be only for really retarded babies.

    Why one or two days? Why not three? Or four? Or until 18 years old? Or at anytime the parent wants, no matter how old the child is?

    So you two are both OK with premeditated murder of human beings who have exited the mother's womb. Nice.

  • ||

    Yes, let's reinstate Aktion T 4. Anything to purify the master race..

    Holy shit, that's brutal.

  • ||

    I think you mean "sentient", not "sapient". And a sleeping person is not sentient during sleep. They only have potential to be sentient when/if they wake up...just like a baby (or a fetus) has to be sentient when they grow up.

    It actually used to be not uncommon for defective babies to be left to die by exposure.

    Yes, and those same societies practiced slavery and treated women as property, among many other barbaric activities.

  • ||

    Wow. Just Wow. This kind of libertarianism is just insane, inhuman... just wow. How hard is this to understand: THE RULES ARE DIFFERENT FOR CHILDREN.

    Humans do have a moral responsibility to care for children. We choose, because it is useful and makes good social sense, to ascribe that responsibility first to parents. But it still binds us all.

  • ||

    +1

    Toxic HAS to be trolling. That or 13.

  • ||

    Yes, and those same societies practiced slavery and treated women as property, among many other barbaric activities.

    How is killing a 1 day old infant in anyway more or less barbaric than killing a 1 day premature fetus?

  • ||

    I'm pro-life, so I consider both to be barbaric. But killing already-born infants is more blatantly disgusting.

  • ||

    It isn't. Late-term abortion is barbaric.

  • MJ||

    Yeah Hazel Meade, move those goalposts forward on which human beings can be considered non-persons and therefore rightless.

  • prolefeed||

    How is killing a 1 day old infant in anyway more or less barbaric than killing a 1 day premature fetus?

    Because you've gone past the last defendable marker used to determine when a fetus becomes a human being, and started advocating murdering what is undeniably, emphatically NOT a fetus. You are advocating killing what virtually everyone knows is a human being, and doing so in cold blood.

  • Jeff||

    Food, boredom, passing curiosity of fetal anatomy. Those are my top three.

  • Some dude||

    Is any contract stronger than a woman's right to choose what happens to her own body and uterus? I find that doubtful. So far the woman's right to choose what to do with her uterus has proven stronger than any other consideration.

  • Cytotoxic||

    She can make that choice in the contract.

  • ||

    You can sell yourself into slavery in a contract. It's not legal and is unenforcable.

  • ||

    It should be legal and enforceable.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Thank you!

  • ||

    It should be legal and enforceable.

    Whether one agrees with this statement would be contingent on whether one thought that rights are "natural"(secular, or god given; you pick), and whether or not you regard these rights as inalienable.

    Thoughts?

  • ||

    I think you're assuming slavery would be of the 19th century forced model.

    You could negotiate the terms of your service in your contract and expect that to be enforced or have your contract voided.

  • ||

    So if you change your mind is it in the state's purview to enforce, at the point of a gun, the contract?

  • ||

    If you change your mind you would be obligated to rework the terms of your contract if possible.

    If you can't, you are responsible for fulfilling your side of the bargain.

  • ||

    So if you change your mind is it in the state's purview to enforce, at the point of a gun, the contract?

    That depends what the contract says about changing the terms of the contract.

  • ||

    Another reason to be glad doctrinaire libertarians are 0.2%.

  • ||

    The idea that our rights are truly inalienable is ridiculous. People waive their rights in contracts all the time. You wouldn't be truly free if you couldn't do this.

  • ||

    They don't waive basic human rights. They waive the right to specific items of property, or specific forms of legal redress, or whatever...they don't waive the right to life or bodily integrity.

  • Edwin||

    Heller, you're really good at showing how retarded you are

  • ||

  • ||

    Then those rights aren't inalienable. If they were, then you could seek legal redress. Promising that you won't seek legal action for violation of your rights is the same thing as waiving that right. This is a common contractual waiver in sports and clinical trials. The government doesn't go after you for being harmed by these things, nor should they.

  • Edwin||

    unfortunately it's more like 25-50%

  • ||

    Another reason to be glad doctrinaire libertarians are 0.2%.

    So you're proud to be a hypocrite?

    Your sounding more and more like Edwin every day, Tulpa.

  • Scarred old slaver||

    You're wrong on this one, heller

  • ||

    NO YOU'RE WRONG!

    (I put as much intellectual effort into that retort as you did.)

  • Some dude||

    A woman isn't held responsible for the pregnancy that resulted in her choice to have sex. What makes you think she can be held responsible for having once signed a contract?

  • Amakudari||

    Right, and most contracts should recognize that no court will force a woman to undergo an abortion. As such, the appropriate response is to find a surrogate who is willing to undergo an abortion if the biological parents desire one, and if not that she will assume parental responsibility for the child.

    That seems to be the case here, by the way.

  • ||

    "Right, and most contracts should recognize that no court will force a woman to undergo an abortion."

    Not yet..

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Under the agreement the trio signed, the surrogate’s choice would mean absolving the couple of any responsibility for raising the child, the treating doctor told a recent fertility-medicine conference.

    This is a canucklehead couple, in canucklehead territory, operating under canucklehead law. Surrogacy contracts can't be commercial, but altruistic (no money-for-baby contracts). So since the surrogate is opposing the genetic donors' wishes, they are off the hook for the resulting offspring. Of course, this all requires the court uphold the surrogacy agreement.

    This would result a legal battle that would ultimately result in an argument about fetal personhood.

    Have fun, Canada!

    *gets popcorn, soda, and a good seat for the ensuing clusterfuck*

  • ||

    Down's Syndrome can be mild or extreme. You could meet many people who are only mildly afflicted and, unless you were familiar with the Syndrome, would have no idea that they "had the Downs." I know this because I have taught Geometry, Algebra, advanced Spanish, and other subjects to such students. They play, have a wide variety of friends, and enjoy the same kinds of interests and activities as other kids of their ages. On more than one occasion, I have found myself wondering "why are these students considered 'abnormal'?" Clearly, Downs can be debilitating, and some victims will show extreme symptoms and need extreme accommodations. But it is not at all certain that any particular baby with Downs will seem all that slow in comparison with the general population, much less "retarded" or disfigured, as the poster children of Downs are usually portrayed. You only get to find out about that once they are born and have been around for a while. To abort a Downs fetus on the mere assumption of the worst case is to impose an undeserved death sentence, doing the baby no "greater kindness."

    If the surrogate wants to carry the baby to term, then I think the contractual "parents" need to step up and help her adopt the child or find other adoptive parents. At some point, the decision to have a child -- by whatever means -- entails some rolling of the dice. If you "lose," you still have the responsibility to honor the terms of the bet. "Losing the bet" shouldn't mean the premature end to the life of an innocent ... at least, not in any honorable society.

  • Cytotoxic||

    1) All Downers, at least with the trisomy (I'm not sure about the translocation version) are infertile. Not having grandchildren would be crushing to many parents.
    2)"Roll of the Dice?" Fuck that shit. Between the pill, condoms, genetic testing, and abortion, we don't have to accept your 'fate' crap. We have choices and we're going to make them. And the surrogate and contract parents have made them in the contract.

  • Jeff||

    Rolling the dice didn't refer to whether a couple could get pregnant, it referred to what would come out once inception happened. The pill stops pregnancy, not birth defects.

  • ||

    Very simple. What the contract covers you follow above all else. What the contract doesn't cover, you follow natural rights.

    Since the contract doesn't appear to cover this situation, the parties should follow the natural right of the surrogate to do with her body what she wishes.

  • Ayn_Randian||

    This is a repost from upthread, but I did not want it to get lost in the shuffle:

    Abortion is legal. Having an abortion, or not having one, is a choice. Once a woman makes the choice to either terminate or not terminate, she bears the full responsibility of that action.

    By your logic, sperm donors should be expected to provide child support.

    If a woman consents to exposing herself to a substance that causes pregnancy, a medical condition that happens only to women, then she should be responsible for the pregnancy.

  • ||

    And I'll repeat that such a legal regime is incompatible with a civilized society.

    I'll add that comparing pregnancy to a disease is fucking hideous. That would make all of us into expelled tumors; a strange opinion for someone so in love with the human ego.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Medical condition =/= disease necessarily

    And how the hell is this uncivilized? Would it be civilized to force sperm donors into child support slavery? Free choice in abortion is a fundamental part of any civilized society.

  • ||

    You are definitely an expelled tumor, Tulpa. Most definitely.

    And your contention that "such a legal regime is incompatible with a civilized society" is laughable. Forcing women to carry something in their bodies that they do not want is far more uncivilized, buy hey, to you, it's not their body, is it? It's yours to decide and control.

  • ||

    Except the 'unwanted' is a person that had no choice in being conceived.

    I believe you can do whatever you want with your body except hurt others.

  • ||

    If a woman doesn't want to give birth, Reasonoids think she should have an abortion.

    If a woman does want to give birth, but the sirer of her child doesn't want her to, then she should have an abortion or face the crippling financial consequences of raising a child alone.

    The tie always goes to death here at Reason. Well, unless we're talking about murderers and rapists.

  • cornholio||

    Wrong. I, for one, am fully in favor of the death penalty.

  • Ayn_Randian||

    AR is allergic to bananas. When AR eats bananas, he goes to the hospital's emergency room and incurs a serious financial liability.

    If AR chooses to eat the banana, should you pay for AR's willfully foolish choice?

    If a woman intentionally exposes herself to sperm, why is that different?

  • ||

    If I knew you were severely allergic to bananas, and fed them to you anyway, yes.

  • Ayn_Randian||

    You know that makes no sense. I chose to eat the banana. You "feeding" them to me is nonsense language.

  • Leroy||

    Tulpa,

    I object to that comment, as I am pro-life and consider a fetus as a human being, just a few years younger than I currently am.

    And I also consider myself a reasonoid.

  • ||

    A group of cells is a person? I had no idea. It's so nice that you get to define "person" however you want. What else is a person?

  • ||

    Better safe than sorry I guess?

    If that group of cells isn't a person, what is it then?

    No one is saying a fucking woofle ball bat is human.

    Your position that you know without doubt when a person becomes a person is no different, in terms of being "The Decider".

  • Cytotoxic||

    Except our way of deciding what is a person-sapience-actually makes some fucking sense. According to your definition, I commit murder everytime I spit saliva and kill many shed cheek cells with it.

  • ||

    You have produced no evidence that being born causes a being to become "sapient". So you're throwing around a criterion for personhood that your actual application has nothing to do with.

  • ||

    At least you recognize that you do want to be "The Decider".

    That still doesn't answer what the group of cells is though.

  • ||

    Here at Reason they err on the side of killing, A.

  • wackyjack||

    Epi, you're a silicon based lifeform? That makes everything much clearer.

  • MJ||

    Now if we can just bring Captian Kirk here to non-sequitur Episarch to death.

  • MJ||

    Is there any person in existence who is something other than a group of cells?

  • ||

    Actually I was defending a woman's right not to be extorted into having an abortion in that particular post. I'm not the one urging male control over women's reproductive decisions here, you and A_R are.

  • ||

    O Rly? Tell me exactly where I said a woman shouldn't have the right to decide what she does with her body.

  • ||

    You defended A_R's contention that a woman who does not do as her baby daddy demands should face crippling financial consequences.

  • ||

    O Rly? Bullshit. I didn't defend anyone; I insulted you. Because you deserve it.

  • ||

    The insulter of an insulter is a defender.

  • ||

    Oh, noes, teh wymyns are such helpless widdle fwagile victims.

  • ||

    It's Tulpa to the rescue! He will save all the fragile little non-persons that are women! They're too stupid to decide for themselves.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Episiarch to the win.

  • ||

    Just as insults are often badges of honor depending on the source...so compliments are often tokens of disgrace.

  • Ayn_Randian||

    I see - holding someone responsible for her choice is now "extortion". Neat-o.

  • SFC B||

    "By your logic, sperm donors should be expected to provide child support."

    It really is only a matter of time and finding a sympathetic family court judge.

  • ||

    Isn't that a contract as well? Who would expect sperm donors to be held financially responsible?

  • Jeff||

    It's irrelevant what the contract says - you can't contract around child support. That's why child support isn't on the table for pre-nups and why, if you're an "informal" sperm donor (give sperm in a cup to your female friend), you can be on the hook.

  • ||

    I guess I don't believe that.

    If a well off woman obtained a donor that did so based on non liability, there is no reason for that not to be honored.

  • Jeff||

    Long story short, since it's not an "assisted donation," liability for child support attaches. Per the Uniform Parentage Act (which has been adopted in a number of states):

    (8) “Donor” means an individual who produces eggs or sperm used for assisted reproduction, whether or not for consideration. The term does not include:

    (A) a husband who provides sperm, or a wife who provides eggs, to be used for assisted reproduction by the wife;

    (B) a woman who gives birth to a child by means of assisted reproduction [, except as otherwise provided in [Article] 8]; or

    (C) a parent under Article 7 [or an intended parent under Article 8].

    "SECTION 702. PARENTAL STATUS OF DONOR. A donor is not a parent of a child conceived by means of assisted reproduction."

  • Social Justice Law Skool||

    Some wacky family court judge who has a bizarre sense of social justice.

  • West Texas Boy||

    What's also interesting is the case against the medical provider who did the implanting. Aren't they supposed to produce multiple embryos and select the "best" ones? How did they miss this before it got selected?

  • Pink Cosmotarian||

    "Raaaaacist!!"

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Will the government be compelled to kill the unwanted child...excuse me, "fetus"...if it sides with the parents? How about putting the damn monster...excuse me, "disabled child", in foster care?

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Satanic Slime, Gestational Goop, Career Killer...I got plenty of these.

  • Robert||

    I thought the question was going to be, "Where do they bury the survivors?"

    But seriously folks, one thing that bothers me is the implication that answering this one would be hard only for [radical] libertarians. It'd be hard for anybody!

    Same thing with children's and parent-child issues. People raise them as some sort of refutation of libertarianism. Big deal, such questions are hard whatever one's ethics.

  • Attorney||

    If I were a judge and this came before me, I can't imagine any set of facts in which I'd order someone to have an abortion. Even if the contract provided that the mother would abort a disabled fetus, I'd give the contract parents damages at most.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    And if you were a Canadian judge?

  • Attorney||

    Then we'd all hold hands and sing kumbaya.

  • MNG||

    "The fetus is diagnosed with Down's Syndrome...The surrogate objects, and wants to carry the pregnancy to term."

    From experience, this sounds like a term Sarah Palin could actually finish!

  • ||

    It took you all day to think of that, didn't it?

  • MNG||

    Just checked in actually. The joke writes itself actually...

  • ||

    Too much "actually"

  • MNG||

    I disagree actually...

  • ||

    Actually, MNG is reaching for a pillow.

  • Dan Lavatan||

    This is common law abandoned property.

  • Corduroy||

    Interesting...

  • Spiny Norman||

    325 comments and nothing from anon-bot.

    You'd think he'd have a little more gumption.

  • ||

    He's waiting until everyone is exhausted and bloodied from the battle, with heaving breath, and then...

  • ||

    Maybe he's keeping the sabbath.

  • ||

    Shabbat ends on Saturday night...

  • Corduroy||

    This reminds me of college Spanish. I had this prof who thought is was beyond hilarious to enforce Spanish only during class and then assign topics for discussion like abortion and date rape.

  • Corduroy||

    The answer is obvious...

    The Aristocrats!

  • MNG||

    I've always wondered, when pro-life people go into a restaurant and the waitress brings them eggs do they go "Oh, yummy, chicken!"?

    And when they get to the core of an apple do they think the seeds are apple trees?

  • ||

    Jesus hates chickens, you insensitive ass.

  • ||

    Carlin does NOT approve.

  • ||

    So anyone who eats veal and doesn't call it venison, or eats duckling and doesn't call it duck, and yet doesn't support infanticide is a hypocrite.

  • ||

    You do know that chicken eggs that people eat contain no embryos, right?

  • MNG||

    Why would you say "chicken eggs?" Isn't that term redunant for pro-life folks?

    Yeah, I know that the eggs we eat are not fertilized. But you can imagine a fertilized chicken egg, right? Is it an egg, or a chicken?

  • MNG||

    What I'm getting at is how odd it would be to equate a chicken and an egg. Just like I find it odd to equate an embryo with a person. In both cases you have the "it has unique DNA yada yada" stuff, but one who treated chickens and eggs equivalently would be a little odd imo, and likewise for embryos and persons...

  • ||

    As far as the law goes, we actually do treat adult chickens and baby chicks and chicken embryos inside eggs the same.

    Likewise, I think we should treat embryos and children and adult humans differently; embryos and children shouldn't have the right to vote or make contracts, for instance. However, all of them have a right to life proceeding from their human nature.

  • ||

    Why would you say "chicken eggs?" Isn't that term redunant for pro-life folks?

    There are eggs that are not from chickens, dolt.

  • IceTrey||

    Did any of you even read the article? The contract stated that if there was a defect and the couple wanted to terminate but the surrogate refused she became responsible for the child. BTW, she had the abortion.

  • prolefeed||

    Haven't read through all 350 or so comments so far, but here's my take:

    The couple and the surrogate arranged for a contract for the surrogate to carry the couple's baby to term. The surrogate wants to breach the contract. Therefore, the couple should receive back all the money back they have paid to the surrogate so far, be absolved of any future payments, and not have any responsibilities whatsoever for the baby being carried to term.

    Now, if the couple wanted the baby, then the surrogate couldn't do such a breach, since that would be kidnapping the child. But, since the couple by their declaration that they want to abort the fetus have declared that it is, in their eyes, a lump of flesh and not a human being, then they have given up their right to claim their child, since they don't consider it a child.

    The surrogate keeps the child, and bears all the costs.

    Really, 350+ comments to untangle this fairly straightforward situation? Really?

  • hmm||

    That's kind of how I read it.

    But insert the word abortion and everyone straps on their helmets and drool bibs, grabs their cyan crayons and McDonald's straws, and goes to retard battle.

  • ||

    Down's Syndrome bigot alert!

  • hmm||

    My insulting knows no bounds, all people are welcome in my circle of hate.

  • ||

    The argument has gone far beyond the facts of this case.

    Especially when you read the article and see that the surrogate wound up having an abortion anyway.

  • ||

    It depends on the contract.

    Let's say the Imperial Gentleman's Club signs a contract with me paying me for the right to put a billboard for their establishment on my roof, but then when it's half way done they change their mind because they don't like the way it's going to look.

    They tell me to tear the partially-constructed billboard down, and I say no, it's too much of a hassle...or maybe I've decided I want to put my own billboard up if they're not going to use it. Can they then demand the payment they gave me back?

  • Douglas Gray||

    It may be that a downs syndrome child growing up in an orphanage might have a happy, enjoyable life (from its own point of view, not those of the 2nd guessers on this thread). It might even get to the point where it understood that if it had been aborted, it wouldn't exist, and it would be glad that it was not aborted.

  • ||

    +1 Thank You.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    This one is pretty simple, IMO.

    If the surrogate wants to keep the baby, she pays for the whole deal. All Doc bills, all costs of baby once born. The couple has no responsibilities for the baby whatsoever. Unless there is a "no matter what happens, the couple is responsible for everything" clause in the contract, the woman is little more than an oven for the child and shouldn't have any rights to force the parents to accept a "defective" baby that they don't want. If there is such a clause, they need to arrange for an adoption while they still pay for medical bills for the surrogate.

  • ||

    It depends on the contract. If the contract says that the couple is responsible, without outlining circumstances under which they wouldn't be, the "no matter what happens" language isn't necessary.

  • Mr Whipple||

    You put defective in quotes. Define "defective baby". That infers "defective humans". Are we going down that path?

  • Leroy||

    If the surrogate mother wants to keep the baby, she pays for the whole deal. All Doc bills, all costs of baby once born. The couple father has no responsibilities for the baby whatsoever. Unless there is a "no matter what happens, the couple father is responsible for everything" clause in the contract, the woman is little more than an oven for the child and shouldn't have any rights to force the parents father to accept a "defective" baby that they don't want. If there is such a clause, they he need to arrange for an adoption while they he still pay for medical bills for the surrogate mother.

    Would you have a problem with this statement?

  • Leroy||

    Other than the terrible grammar, that is.

  • MJ||

    Given the logic of abortion rights, I do not see how the couple who hired the surrogate can demand that the surrogate have an abortion even if the child is not up to spec. I would not think that even if such was stipulated in the contract that it would be enforcable.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    If the biological parents are allowed to abort the child, the notion that a carrying mother has the sole right to decide whether birth will be attempted goes out the window.

    For me, this would allow non-carrying parents (fathers) to have a deciding vote in the matter.

  • ||

    "We want Carr!" the Niners fans are chanting. Careful what you wish for, guys.

  • Sidd Finch||

    Libertarians showed their ass all thread and then BAM! minge comes along to show what full retard really looks like.

  • G Mc||

    Are surrogacy contracts enforceable in Canada? It's the couple that is in breach here, correct?

    Unless this situation is explicitly addressed in the contract, the couple might be able to avoid the contract pursuant to some sort of mistake of fact or impracticability argument.

    Regardless of the nature of the agreement here, no court could possibly order the surrogate to abort the fetus - such injunctive relief would be untenable in a personal service contract such as this.

    Considering the extremely delicate issues this case raises, any decision would most probably be grounded primarily in some public policy rationale or another. Very interesting.

  • G Mc||

    Oh whoops, didn't read the link before posting... classic mistake.

  • ||

    Abortions for some!
    Free miniature Canadian flags for others!

  • jtuf||

    Carry the baby to term. Parents to not have a right to kill their offspring on eugenics grounds. The women who's body is affected wants to carry the baby to term. Case closed.

  • Everybody Else||

    But, but...what if, and...

  • Leroy||

    In this particular case, what difference is there between the biological 'parents' and a father in any other abortion case?

    If a man and a woman conceive, the woman has the full choice as to whether or not to abort. If the child is carried to term, the man is financially responsible for the child regardless of his personal opinions on the matter.

    In this case, a man and a woman were involved in conception, with a third party carrying the child. Would it not be the right of the third party to determine whether or not she wants to carry the child to term (as it is HER body)? If that is the case, would it not be the responsibility of the individuals involved in conception to provide financially for that child?

    The only difference here is that it is a man AND a woman on the hook for the decision of the surrogate, rather than just a man on the hook for the decision of the woman. Or am I crazy?

  • Paul||

    Actually, if you guys RTFA, the article answers its own question:


    Under the agreement the trio signed, the surrogate’s choice would mean absolving the couple of any responsibility for raising the child, the treating doctor told a recent fertility-medicine conference.

    Done and done.

    However, guess what question about reproductive choice it raises:

    Dr. Ken Seethram, revealing the unusual situation for the first time, said it raises questions about whether government oversight of contracts between mothers and “commissioning” parents is needed.

    A bioethicist who has studied the issue extensively argues that contract law should not apply to the transaction, unless human life is to be treated like widgets in a factory.

    Let me guess who the progressives are in this scenario.

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