The State Duma has finally developed a bill that should regulate surrogacy. The deputies supported the idea of banning the provision of such services to foreigners and Russian citizens who are not married. However, the propaganda machine immediately turned on, supporting the interests of various kinds of perverts. After all, Russian children on the black market have their own price, and often not for a living baby, but for a “carcass”. Anna Shafran discussed the most difficult problem on the air of “The First Russian” together with experts.
Anna Shafran, a journalist and host of The First Russian, took part in a meeting of the working group to discuss the bill on surrogacy in the State Duma and spoke about the problem on the air of the author’s program on the Tsargrad TV channel. Unfortunately, an absolutely legal market for human trafficking has emerged in Russia. Russian women actually sell their bodies to bear children, who are then taken out of the country. Often their further fate is unknown. What is this if not a legalized slave trade? So the adoption of a new law in this area is long overdue.
What is proposed in the new law? First, there is no surrogacy for foreigners. Secondly, no surrogacy for single men or women – only for couples. Plus medical indications, plus the appropriate age – from 25 to 55 years. This is the main thing, the details are not so fundamental.
The discussion in the State Duma was very lively. The supporters of keeping everything as it is, accused the authors of the law no more and no less as in violation of the Constitution and international treaties. However, I believe that the degree of discussion will grow. This is not only about serious money, but also about the interests of very serious people – both in our country and abroad.
Why is the current situation in the field of surrogacy categorically unacceptable? Anna Shafran asked a member of the Commission of the Public Chamber of Russia for the development of culture and preservation of the spiritual heritage of Pavel Pozhigailo to answer this question.
Paid money – do what you want?
Russia is open to the whole world, and any foreigner can come, choose a surrogate mother, get a child for money and take him abroad, laments Pavel Pozhigailo. The most interesting thing is that, while almost all of Europe, half of America, Canada, Thailand, China, Japan have banned surrogacy altogether, residents of these countries come to Russia for children.
Moreover, about seven years ago, medicine made a great step forward and drugs appeared for rejuvenating the elderly – another terrible side of this business was revealed: living children are used to make drugs.
According to unofficial data, thanks to medical advances, 64 fractions can be extracted from a child today. Their market value is up to a million euros. That is, the extension of the life of the elderly is carried out at the expense of the lives of children. And it became a huge business. Therefore, many countries have banned foreigners from participating in surrogacy programs.
Another movement directed against our children – by the way, also quite capitalized – is associated with LGBT aggregators, with the help of which people of non-traditional orientation, if they have money, can buy themselves an unlimited number of children. There were cases when whole harems were formed from children.
In fact, we are dealing with the slave trade, with the legalized sale of children. At the same time, in the LGBT aggregator markets, a child costs up to 200 thousand euros, or almost 18 million rubles. By the way, a Russian surrogate mother receives 1 million rubles, if anything at all. The price difference is huge – it is clear that a large number of intermediaries are involved in the chain. According to available data, there are more than 700 agencies in Russia that deal with the selection of surrogate mothers.
In connection with covid, we all now hear medical terminology, continued Anna Shafran. So, in my opinion, it is obvious that the side effects of such a phenomenon as surrogacy far outweigh the possible advantages. Why is the legislature only now ripe to understand the need for changes in this area?
The health of every person is a matter of national security
This question was answered by a guest in the studio, Doctor of Law, Head of the Department of Medical Law of the University. O.E. Kutafina Alexander Mokhov, according to whom the problem is broader and concerns not only surrogacy.
In recent years, laws have been adopted as a framework. And many important norms were left to the mercy of either the Russian government or the main industry regulators, the same Ministry of Health. And it turned out that those who control the relevant activities, they also developed certain norms, which is fundamentally wrong.
This law, Anna Shafran noted, will be considered in the State Duma by the Committee for Security and Anti-Corruption. Probably now you can look to the future with restrained optimism.
I would like to hope so, Alexander Mokhov continued. And there are already prerequisites for this, they were laid down by a presidential decree on national security and a number of other decrees in recent years. And public health for the first time began to sound like a factor of national security, which was not there before.
We were inclined towards the fact that the life and health of each person is his own business. And if so, the intervention of the state and society was very, very limited. Today the trend is different. A completely different approach has appeared, which will be implemented taking into account the changes made to the Constitution. We have a long way to go to change all current legislation – both family legislation and in the field of protecting the health of citizens, and so on.
Without this, we cannot go on. Otherwise, it turns out that many questions are left to the mercy of business, and he says: we work, we pay taxes, we create jobs, and leave us alone with your morality. At the same time, the trend in Western countries is completely different – the issues of social entrepreneurship, social responsibility of business come to the fore. And we also began to talk about it. Business is not an absolute good. There are also the interests of the state, the interests of society.
The lack of interest in surrogate motherhood, in assisted reproductive technologies, in general, in matters of public health protection has led to the current situation when we have to urgently extinguish the fire, develop appropriate standards to stop illegal activities. Today we see: this is not just a discussed type of activity – it is child trafficking, it is export, it is an uncontrolled black market. In a number of cases, this is a “feed” for officials. These are the negative factors to which one cannot but react, Alexander Mokhov believes.
Anna Shafran cited statistics: in Russia in 2017, only 1 million 700 children were born. Of these, with the help of assisted reproductive technologies – 35 thousand children. Surrogacy is only a fraction of assisted reproductive technologies (ART), less than 1%.
This begs the question: is it worth considering such a technology as surrogacy in the context of improving the demographic situation?
In no case, Mokhov is sure, although such attempts are being made. There are both business interests and the interests of the medical lobby, which is quite understandable. But we can see how these technologies contribute, judging by the numbers. From an economic point of view, none. Demographic issues are also not being resolved, and indeed cannot be resolved in principle. The state must support natural childbearing. And here, of course, there are many questions in terms of stimulating the birth rate.
The use of ART is a huge investment from the budget, and the return is minimal. Of course, these problems also need to be addressed, they are of a private nature. But they do not solve demographic problems. So is it not better to use these sums to prevent reproductive health and support families with children? Of course, it will be unprofitable for medicine, but it will be beneficial for everyone else. There is a lobby, it happened so, and it’s hard to break it.
Continuing the topic, Anna Shafran noted that, as in the case of restrictions on abortions, they like to scare us, that “if you forbid, everything will go into the illegal sphere, women who will illegally bear other people’s children will suffer.” Tell me, is there such a risk in reality?
There is always a risk, but one must look at its degree and significance, Alexander Mokhov believes. This logic is liberal – “let’s not do anything, because they will still be.”
Then let’s not fight drug addiction, but they are fighting it, and the issue is more or less under control. Even the fight against tobacco smoking, despite the fact that there are also weak positions there, is yielding results. The most important thing is a signal for the society how to behave correctly.
The positions of the opponents of the bill are insignificant
Concluding the conversation, Anna Shafran noted that the main legal aspects were discussed, confirming the nullity of the position of opponents of the bill on surrogacy. Let’s once again answer all the claims of the supporters of child trafficking, for a final and irrevocable understanding of why the current situation is unacceptable and why the law must be adopted as soon as possible.
They say, they say, this is a violation of international treaties obliging us to provide medical assistance to foreigners. Allow me. No international obligations in the field of medicine oblige states to provide surrogacy services to foreigners.
We are absolutely not obliged to satisfy without restrictions the reproductive needs of foreign citizens. Especially considering that most of them come to us from countries where surrogacy is completely prohibited. Should we help them get around their laws? Rave!
They say that single people also have the right to fatherhood and motherhood. To deprive them of this right is allegedly contrary to the Constitution.
It’s one thing when a child is brought up only by a mother or only by a father, because life circumstances have developed that way. It is quite another thing to deliberately violate the child’s right to a family, initially create a situation in which he does not have a family and, most likely, will not. Nobody has such a right!
They say: “Her body is her business!” Listen. It is about the exploitation of women, whose health is destroyed in order to satisfy the desires of other people. When it comes to voluntary assistance to a family suffering from infertility, this can still be discussed. But in all other cases, this is just trivial exploitation with very serious consequences.
By and large, it is necessary to reorient the domestic reproductive medicine in the near future. Its task should be to preserve and strengthen the natural reproductive potential of already created and future families. We need to work more on preventing infertility, one of the important factors in the occurrence of which, by the way, is abortion. But that’s another topic.
Surrogacy in its current form and open trafficking in children is a shame for our country. Think about it.
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