Biomart

that'swhatmywifeusedtocallme I’ve been researching the global exploitation of women’s reproductive labour. In the same part of the world where many resort to prostitution and are victims of sex trafficking, Romanian women are favoured producers of eggs for IVF because they are fair skinned. They undergo the procedure of hyper-stimulation of the ovaries, which is not without risk, in order to produce between 16 and 30 eggs per cycle, for which they may be paid three thousand dollars. Meanwhile, a smart, athletic, blonde college girl in the USA could earn up to twenty thousand for the same labour and yield. (Keep in mind that unlike sperm eggs are a finite resource, so Romanians who donate two or three times to make enough money are jeopardizing their own fertility.) Reproductive tourism flourishes in India and Thailand. Gay couples and single would-be parents as well as infertile hetero couples who cannot access IVF in their countries, or who want to do it less expensively, can hire a surrogate at a rock-bottom rate. Three thousand dollars per gestation is wealth for an Indian woman.  It is also between twenty and fifty percent of the amount a North American woman would earn. Indian surrogates are valued because they are closely monitored, often housed in dormitories for the duration of the pregnancy. The disparity in wealth and rights between would-be parents and surrogates was illustrated recently when Israel evacuated the babies carried for its citizens from quake-stricken Nepal but left the surrogate mothers behind. This is the nature of any contract: once the terms have been fulfilled the relationship between the parties is at an end. In India, surrogacy businesses are not regulated by law. Nor are clinics that sell fake stem-cell therapies. In the west, women are asked to donate eggs or IVF-derived embryos for research into cell therapies. The “supernumerary” IVF embryos are going to be destroyed anyway, so why not donate. Women who donate eggs for research often have family members who suffer from potentially treatable terminal diseases; and they are already primed to donate because of the hype associated with the miracle cures in the offing. Thus far, only one stem-cell therapy (for macular degeneration) has been tested. It took a year to produce enough cells for the treatment—and that’s for the eye, a relatively small body part. Research into methods of producing stem cells without destroying embryos has been deemed “inefficient” because it requires hundreds of eggs, which are in short supply. Because a method like SCNT does not express any of the egg donor’s genetic traits, poor women of colour from around the globe will be ripe for exploitation. Racism will not prompt rejection of donors, but it will ensure that the women are paid very little.
divingbelle As a relatively privileged western feminist, I have the luxury of condemning the commodification of other women’s bodies and body parts. From a position in which I assume that my body will never be sold, I can argue that poor women do not actually have the freedom to choose whether or not to sell eggs or rent their wombs. I can state that any woman who is already suffering sexism and racism as well as poverty is being coerced into this work. Thinking only in terms of western values, I can argue that an Indian woman does not have the “freedom to choose” when she contracts to do reproductive labour. (That in itself is a neo-liberalist marketplace concept of individual freedom, one that I have the individual freedom to abhor.) Looking for a less myopic approach to the issue, I have found at least one compelling argument: affluent westerners’ exploitation of poor women’s reproductive labour is unethical as long as we are doing nothing to end systemic immiseration around the globe.

Credits
r2_A/D/E ayame[M]nude2 (at Collabor88 till the 6th of July)
.HW. [Hollyweird], Thrive – Belly Tattoo- FADED
Noodles – Luna Chain Top Rose Gold XS
r2 A/D/E ayame arm warmers[S]nude (at Collabor88 till the 6th of July)
r2 A/D/E kagetsu boots[XS]sheer
Slink Female Feet (AvEnhance) XXS – High
.:EMO-tions:. * TIZIA*/black with EMO-tions base black – 5
Slink, Avatar Enhancement Hands V2.1 – Casual
Clemmm – Damaged Hands *Bruises and grit* 1
[Haste] Satire Bracelet – Rose Gold (gacha)
-Glam Affair – Mokatana – Jamaica 07 A
.random.Matter. – Misery Brows
pose one: Flowey
pose two: not available
shot at Hangars Liquides

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