Exploitation and commercial surrogate motherhood

Human Reproduction and Genetic Ethics 7 (1):8--14 (2001)
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Various authors, for instance Elizabeth Anderson, Rosemary Tong, Mary Warnock and Margaret Brazier have argued that commercial surrogate motherhood is exploitative and that it should be prohibited. Their arguments are unconvincing. Exploitation is a more complex notion than it is usually presented as being. Unequal bargaining power can be a cause of exploitation but the exercise of unequal bargaining power is not inevitably or inherently exploitative. Exploitation concerns unfair and/or unjust strategies - rather than the exercise of power as such. Commercial surrogate motherhood is not necessarily exploitative. Furthermore, not all transactions which are exploitative should be made illegal.



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