People Who Want Babies May Use Surrogacy BUT…
I believe that Mill would be a stark opponent to the practice based The Subjection of Women. Mill was against the social norms that perpetuated the belief that women were inferior and less capable than men. He believed we had no basis to subject women to the treatment they deserved and that by not giving them a chance, we were hindering the progress of society. Luckily, we took heed to the protest of Mill and others and as a society emancipated women, giving them equal rights and liberties under our society. However, our society has transgressed and we have returned to subjecting women to lesser protection of their rights. Surrogacy has allowed women once again to enter a contract that abuses their rights and requires them to fulfill a physical service. Mill likened marriage contracts to slavery, something he was obviously bitterly opposed to. Even marriage, which in itself is not an oppressive contract, was on Mill’s bad list so that leads me to believe that Surrogacy would be looked upon in an even worse manner. Especially in third world countries, the beneficares of surrogates are forcing women to make the decision to enter surrogacy for the own financial benefit of the husband or someone else, and are preventing women from having a fair chance to showcase their real talents and abilities in the real world.
Surrogate mothers while away the time in a hostel in Anand
The husbands of these women are obviously benefiting by their wives submitting to the practice of surrogacy and will be prone to lobby for the continuation of such a practice. This is similar to Mill’s comment on men and how they will be likely to vote on policies that repress women since they want to protect their own interests. Mill would posit that it is the duty of society to outlaw such a represssive practice that has the potential to turn into a large scale industry. I believe Mill would clamor for surrogacy to be heavily regulated and possibly outlawed if the people do not respect the rights of women and if they are unable to see them as anything other than a childbearer.
Would Mill approve of Surrogacy or would he reject it similarly to the way he clamored for a change to marriage practices?
For further viewing on the ethics of surrogacy: