Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

Progressive surrogacy bill is regressive for women and children

By Charles Smith - posted Monday, 22 July 2019

The Legislative Council will soon review the Surrogacy Amendment Bill (Human Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy Amendment Bill 2018), designed to assist homosexual and single males to have the option of procuring a genetically related child through private surrogacy contracts.

If the bill is passed, the option of 'buying a womb' to address perceived reproductive injustices will be added to existing family formation options for men, that already allow them to adopt and foster.

Though the left's endless quest for equality, in this case through reproductive liberalisation, only ends up cannibalising itself in a relentless game of cat and mouse where the supposed reproductive rights of one group are pitched against the rights and well-being of others.


In circumventing the limits of biology, the process undermines the rights and health of women and children, while unjustly commodifying them. The right of men in search of a womb, is seen to legitimise the hire of women to become nothing more than disposable reproductive units, deemed irrelevant after the baby is born.

Yet of course there is no feminist outcry.

The cannibalising nature of liberal politics is not new. In fact, it seems as one minority group laments inequality and demands reparations for perceived injustice, another group becomes compromised in the process.

Is society ready to accept that biological women can be viewed by minority groups as mere breeders to placate this sense of biological denialism inherent in fringe politics? Not to mention the injustices inbuilt in international surrogacy agreements where vulnerable women from poorer economies are exploited in pursuit of a modern family.

Some may argue making contractual surrogacy agreements legal in WA lessens the exploitation of women from poor countries. In actuality, onshore surrogacy only exacerbates it globally and further demeans women, albeit bringing it closer to home.

Additionally, if women want to access a surrogacy service they do not have the same rights as men do. Instead, they must jump through a whole other set of more difficult legal hoops, ironically creating 'male privilege'. Men would have access to surrogacy merely by virtue of being male and wanting it.


Curiously however, feminist groups have been eerily quiet about the unfairness inherent in surrogacy law, which may actually violate Australian Sex Discrimination Law, leaving it wide open for a High Court Challenge.

Not only are women compromised within the surrogacy debate; the right of a child to a mother and father is effectively glossed over in favour of the almighty surrogacy dollar and accumulation of virtue signalling points.

Imagine carrying a child for nine months and enduring the trauma of birth only to have the newborn – who is entirely dependent on the mother - taken away and given to people who 'bought' the child.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

8 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Charles Smith is in Independent member for the East Metropolitan Region in the Western Australian Legislative Council. A former police officer in regional WA, he was elected to Parliament in March 2017.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Charles Smith

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Photo of Charles Smith
Article Tools
Comment 8 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy