The European Parliament adopted the Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2014 and the European Union’s policy on the matter tabled by MEP Cristian Dan Preda (EPP, Romania). In this report, the parliament in strong words condemned all forms of surrogacy, as it ‘undermines the human dignity of the woman since her body and its reproductive functions are used as a commodity.’
The parliamentarians considered ‘that the practice of gestational surrogacy which involves reproductive exploitation and use of the human body for financial or other gain, in particular in the case of vulnerable women in developing countries, shall be prohibited and treated as a matter of urgency in human rights instruments.’
This is already the second resolution by the European Parliament condemning the practice of surrogacy. In 2011, it adopted a resolution, where it acknowledged the link between surrogacy and human trafficking by saying that ‘surrogacy […] constitutes an exploitation of the female body and her reproductive organs.’
Clearly, the practice of surrogacy may be considered a novel form of human trafficking, objectivising the female body. Women are being treated as ‘reproductive machines’. Children become mere objects of a contract, which violates the rights and dignity of both mother and child.
ADF International highly welcomes the European Parliament’s position on surrogacy, especially given the fact that the practice is quickly spreading. This does not come as a surprise, since for some it constitutes a significant source of income (the cost for surrogacy can go well over EUR 100,000). Others see it as a means to fulfill their ‘right to have a child’ at the expense of the rights and dignity of the mother and her baby.
ADF International hopes that other international and EU institutions will join the European Parliament to fight surrogacy and search for ways to prevent all forms of human trafficking; upholding human rights for everyone.