This Week in Bioethics

by Christopher White, CBC Director of Research and Education on July 3, 2015

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One week ago today the United States Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in all fifty states. The push for “marriage equality” has now resulted in demands for “family equality.” In this special edition of This Week in Bioethics, we alert you to the top five things you need to know about the movement for “Family Equality.”

1. There is no right to “Family Equality”

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision, legal scholar Douglas NeJaime was one of the first to call for “family equality” in a Los Angeles Times op-ed. The push for “family equality” is a dangerous invention of a concept. There is no right to “family equality” in the United States Constitution—or elsewhere. Like many folks who use the language of “rights,” NeJaime is merely using a false concept to push for his desires. We’re pulling back the curtain to expose the truth.

2. “Family Equality” Requires Eggsploitation

The idea of “family equality” will require that women’s bodies are preyed upon by gay men for their eggs. How’s that for equal rights? Advocates of “family equality” fail to mention that there are real, serious, and potentially life-threatening harms for the health of young women if they choose to sell their eggs. Furthermore, There is little to no peer-reviewed medical research on the long-term safety effects of egg procurement on the health of the young women who provide their eggs, making informed consent impossible! Don’t believe me? Hear and see it firsthand for yourselves.

3. “Family Equality” Means Children Lose Biological Ties

“Family equality” will require that we forever diminish the significance of our biological ties, as it will depend on the practice of anonymous gamete donation. So much for the children who long to know and be known by their biological parents! Farewell to the idea that biology matters—even for the sake of knowing one’s medical history. According to this notion, “family equality” must also come at the sacrifice of the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child. How’s that for equality?

4. “Family Equality” Exploits Women as Breeders.

“Family equality” will require surrogate mothers who will be used and who will be reduced to a subclass of women. Those that advocate for “family equality” do so under the banner of providing “equal treatment” to gay men. Yet their “equal treatment” would come at the expense of the surrogate mother. Unequal treatment is at the very heart of the practice of surrogacy. The surrogate mother is reduced to a mere carrier or vessel for those desiring a child.

5. The Movement for “Family Equality” Can Be Defeated

Earlier this week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill in New Jersey that would have legalized commercial surrogacy in the state. In his veto remarks, he noted that “I do not support the establishment of a new system of child-birth that places a legally binding agreement between a woman, and the child she is carrying.” The Center for Bioethics and Culture has worked to secure back-to-back vetoes in 2013 and 2014 from Louisiana Governor Jindal to prevent surrogacy in that state. We’ve worked to stop surrogacy legislation in Minnesota in 2013 and 2014. And now we’re seeing this second veto of a surrogacy bill in New Jersey. The stakes, however, have never been higher. Join the movement to defeat “family equality” now.

This Week in Bioethics Archive

Image by cbaskin99 via flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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