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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 27, 2013/ 18 Sivan, 5773

Surrogacy exposed

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


JewishWorldReview.com | Women’s reproductive rights have enjoyed a half-century or so of well-defined proponents and opponents, but the recently flourishing fertility industry, from egg harvesting to surrogacy, has produced fresh and surprising alliances among former foes.

Feminists, traditionalists, Catholics, evangelicals, ethicists and atheists alike have united to combat what many convincingly view as the exploitation and commodification of women and the violation of human rights even as perfect babies and happy families are formed.

Speaking of quagmires.

Latest to the arena is Louisiana, where a pro-surrogacy bill creating a regulatory structure for surrogate parenting passed both legislative houses with few dissenting votes and now faces a possible veto by Gov. Bobby Jindal (R). A thumbs-down from Jindal would constitute an act of principled courage, given widespread public support and lobbying efforts that have included the prominent display of two beautiful, surrogate-produced children born of the bill’s chief author, state Sen. Gary Smith.

During his push for the bill, Smith brought his children to the statehouse and circulated photographs of the two.

Whatever one may feel about Smith’s happy family, “feel” being the operative term, one should also be aware that not all surrogacy stories are so pretty. There is a dark underbelly to the surrogacy industry — and it is a business — including a burgeoning industry that preys on vulnerable women, commodifying them as “ovens,” a term Smith himself used. Never mind repercussions for the children themselves, who may have as many as five “parents,” from the egg and sperm donors, to the woman who carries them to the couple or single parent who adopts them.

It isn’t necessary to demonize anyone here. It is only fair to assume that people who want a child this much are good people with the wherewithal to make dreams come true. The women who carry others’ babies to term may be acting out of a sense of service or altruism, but the financial incentive can’t be ignored. Surrogacy brokers are wise to their marketplace and specifically target populations that are likely to be attracted to surrogacy. Almost half the surrogates in this country are military wives, according to Kathy Sloan, a National Organization for Women board member and surrogacy opponent.

Though laws, where they exist, vary from state to state, advertising in military periodicals and elsewhere lists requirements that the woman must already be a mom and thus know the ropes, as well as be a proven breeder. She must be willing to stay in place until the baby is born and, of course, surrender rights to the child. Although the woman is paid between $25,000 and $50,000 for her surrogacy, the language of most legislation speaks only to “living expenses” and coverage of medical bills. Most allow for termination of pregnancy should some abnormality be discovered pre-term.

In one such case in Connecticut where a fetus was shown to have abnormalities, the surrogate was offered $10,000 to abort. She declined. Because state law clearly identified the “purchasers” as the parents, the surrogate moved to another state, had the baby and placed her in an adoptive home.

The simplicity of the human desire for children notwithstanding, there’s nothing simple about the surrogacy business — and we haven’t scraped the surface of the metaphysical, spiritual, emotional and psychological issues with which a brief flirtation evokes mind-twisting complexities. Physical concerns, meanwhile, are plentiful.

This obviously is rich territory for pro-life crusaders for whom compromise on embryos is impossible, but NOW’s Sloan, a pro-choice activist, shares no such concerns. She sees surrogacy only as the exploitation of vulnerable women. She also sees a variety of class and race issues at play. The rich take advantage of the poor for designer babies, Caucasian features for carrier preferred.

The United States is second only to India in providing surrogates, according to Sloan, who also works with the United Nations on human rights. But even India, where some women are warehoused for nine months and forbidden to leave during the pregnancy, recently has set limits on surrogacy. Here in America, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) recently vetoed a bill similar to Louisiana’s upon learning the darker details behind the family portraits.

While no one wishes to cause pain to people who, for whatever reason, can’t have a child on their own, there are more compelling principles and consequences in play. Human babies are not things; their mothers are not ovens. But bartering and selling babies-to-order sure make them seem that way. By turning the miracle of life into a profit-driven, state-regulated industry, the stork begins to resemble a vulture.

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