Pro-surrogacy activists attack one of Europe’s most progressive governments
The Spanish government is under fire for “institutional hatred” against people who used surrogacy to fulfil their desire for children.
According to dozens of LGBT organisations across Europe, the Spanish government must immediately cease their “reprehensible speech of institutional hatred” to families who had children born via surrogacy.
Only a few months ago, the Spanish government introduced 16 different family models, partly designed to include LGBT families.
Last week, eight Spanish organisations promoting LGBT families published a manifesto that condemns certain ministers for “pointing out and stigmatising minors who have been born” via surrogacy. That manifesto has now been adopted by the Network of European LGBTIQ Families Associations (NELFA). This organisation brings together a total of 46 associations from 32 countries throughout Europe.
In particular, the organisations target Irene Montero, Spain’s Equality minister. According to the organisations, the minister “has to decide if she is Minister of Equality for all Spaniards or if she is campaigning for the Podemos party and criminalises children and families who resort to surrogacy”, a spokesman for a pro-surrogacy group said.
The debate around surrogacy flared up after Ana Obregón, a Spanish celebrity, became a mother through surrogacy at 68. The child had been conceived with the sperm of Obregón’s son, who died several years ago. The news caused a media frenzy in the southern European country. It forced the Spanish government to speak out against surrogacy. According to Montero, surrogacy violates women’s rights.
Montero received support from ministers from the ruling Socialist Party. “Women’s bodies should not be bought or rented to satisfy anyone’s wishes,” said Felix Bolaños, the Minister of Presidency. María Jesús Montero, Minister of Finance, described the practice as “yet another way to exploit women’s bodies”.
Although surrogacy is banned in Spain, people can go abroad to fulfil their desire for children. Although the US state of California is a popular destination, it is also expensive; an arrangement quickly costs around 150,000 euros. In Ukraine or Georgia, the price is around a third of that figure.
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