Analysis |

Israeli Opposition to Surrogacy Is Homophobia Disguised as Concern for the Weak

Many people could live with surrogacy’s injustice to women when it only served heterosexual couples, but not now that gay men want in

Ravit Hecht
Ravit Hecht
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LGBT protesters during Israel's one-day strike against the amended surrogacy law, July 22, 2018.
LGBT protesters during Israel's one-day strike against the amended surrogacy law, July 22, 2018.Credit: Emil Salman
Ravit Hecht
Ravit Hecht

The success of the LGBT protest after gay men were excluded from Israel’s surrogacy law has sparked a wave of empathy – both on the right and the left – for surrogates. And those poor women don’t even know that so many people care about them; otherwise maybe they wouldn’t rent out their wombs.

Many right-wing people who up to two days ago knew nothing about surrogacy are spouting slogans about exploiting a woman’s body and child-trafficking. After all, they smelled the odor of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s fiasco on the subject – some of them are people who normally like to curtail human rights; for Arabs, for example.

And on the left, always typified by ideological narcissism and a passion to bring down any struggle, voices have been raised against the exploitation of surrogacy.

The surrogacy law that gay men had sought to be part of promises societal supervision over the selection of surrogates in Israel – which is supposed to prevent the exploitation of hapless women in poor countries. Still, a position against surrogacy is legitimate and even has some logic to it.

After all, the surrogacy law was already passed in 1996, to serve heterosexual couples. Why is it that for 22 years now no such vigorous protests have arisen like the ones we’ve seen in recent days? Where have all those champions of human rights been who care so much about women and their bodies?

The awakening of this counterprotest now of all times is nothing but cynical deceit – homophobia in the hypocritical guise of caring for the weak. The downtrodden didn’t interest these critics before it became a political issue, and the counterprotest has become a tool in the hands of people who fake their feelings.

We could live with the terrible injustice when it served the needs of heterosexual couples, but we can’t live with it now that gay men also want children with some biological connection to them. This hypocrisy is blatantly evil considering that unlike heterosexual couples, gay men may not adopt children, which would prevent surrogates from the suffering that their protectors supposedly seek to prevent.

The conclusion from the debates of recent days is that in the end, even to self-styled liberals, gay parents aren’t equal to heterosexual parents, and their longing for children isn’t as sacred as that of straight people. According to such critics, if LGBT folk want to become parents, let them stop coddling themselves with their sexual preferences (or perhaps repair their deviant ways) and seek other solutions.

If at the end of a serious process, including the documentation of thousands of cases, thorough supervision, opinions from various professionals and the examination of all sides, it’s found that surrogacy involves the severe exploitation of poor women causing them physical and emotional suffering, then surrogacy should be banned. But in that case, it should be banned for everyone.

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