Yes, what is the real impact of treating women like easy-bake ovens? …So asks our very own Elizabeth Marquardt along with award-winning documentary filmmaker Jennifer Lahl in their latest co-written Huffington Post piece.
Marquardt and Lahl react to the recent case in Texas where a woman gave birth to twins using an egg donor, with the intention of raising and co-parenting them with her then-friend Marvin McMurray, but after the twins were born McMurray sent a court order restricting her access to the babies because he claimed she was “just a surrogate”. The hospital then sent the newborns home with McMurray’s gay lover, Phong Nguyen- a man the woman had never met before.
This case is startling for many reasons.
- Like the title suggests, women are now being treated and thought of as easy-bake ovens.
- It threatens the whole idea of natural parentage and the sacredness of biology. The State now gets to decide who a child’s parent is.
In addition to the identity issues such complex forms of parentage force upon the children, egg donation is a risky business, luring mostly college-aged women into rounds of hormone shots and surgical extractions that are a documented risk to their own health.
I remember when I gave birth to my daughter. Healthy in every way and at age 25 it was an easy pregnancy, but besides everything I had going for me physically something went wrong during labor. After 14 hours of tough contractions, and 4.5 hours of hard pushing (when its normally 40-60 min.) the baby wouldn’t come out. She was traverse. We had to do an emergency c-section. On the emergency room table I felt for the first time in my life like I could die. I had lost so much blood my body was convulsing uncontrollably. I was so fatigued I could barely mutter any words to the doctors. The medication they gave me left me numb from the neck down- which is a terrifying feeling if you’ve ever endured it. When they cut me and pulled my baby out I didn’t have the energy to even blink. They gave her to Rickard and he watched them as they held my guts up above my body, carefully putting each organ back in the right place after having dismantled me. The recovery was long and excruciatingly painful- even with meds. Nothing I’ve ever experienced has been so painful. The only experience that could compare is when I… sold my eggs.
It really made me understand that pregnancy is a big deal.
I can’t help but think of Never Let Me Go- a film (and book) about a group of people who are housed in dormitories, and kept healthy as to complete their life purpose of donating their organs to sick, rich people.
Because that is what many women have become- biological entities to harvest.
But I guess a nicer way to put it would be, we’re just “easy bake ovens with no legal rights to the cupcakes”.