The RTÉ documentary 'Her body, Our babies' made for deeply uncomfortable viewing on several levels. The Indian 'surrogates' featured in the programme are women who live in poverty and who are paid a fraction of the substantial sums paid to clinics for their services to Western couples.
More than one commentator said surrogacy reduced these desperate women - and the children they carried - to mere commodities, and, as the programme revealed, commodities which could be easily discarded.
The decision of the surrogacy clinic to abort one of the three human embryos being carried by Mumbai woman Shobha caused a huge backlash on social media documentary. The vast majority of tweets were critical of the implantation of three embryos when the clinic was determined to abort at least one if all three became viable. In this case all three were healthy and viable.
Lorraine Courtney wrote http://www.independent.ie/opinion/lorraine-courtney-when-a-medical-miracle-leads-to-painful-choice-29917113.html in the Irish Independent that "reproductive medicine has now produced a paradox." Also writing in the Independent, Sinead Ryan said the programme made for "disturbing and unpleasant viewing http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/her-body-our-babies-it-was-disturbing-and-unpleasant-viewing-29915345.html ", and coverage of the trip to India as "seedy, tawdry and downright offensive".
She called out the programme for its use of euphemisms when describing the abortion as 'reducing' the pregnancy: " 'Reduced' in this context means aborting a healthy foetus, violently and without reference to the mother (either of them), she wrote.
It's a powerful point, and reminds us that we need to more to expose the reality of abortion. 'Pregnancy reduction' means killing one or more of twin or triplet babies in a pregnancy. It's simply horrific to contemplate that this is how far the abortion industry has come in devaluing human life and exploiting women.
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