[Editor's note: Alana uses "3PR" here short for "third party reproduction," which refers to conceiving a child via sperm or egg donation or surrogacy]
Last night I went to a lecture by Robert P. George on What is Marriage? and I wanted to share some of the thought nuggets I found helpful and pertinent. We often talk here about the culture wars going on in this country. We fight about gay marriage, abortion, euthanasia, 3PR… I go to a luncheon and hear a woman speak of her and her lesbian partner and their deep, passionate desire to get married. In defending why they should have the right to do so they first and most forcefully reveal that they have a son they’re raising, born using one woman’s eggs, the other woman’s womb, and someone else’s sperm- a man that has been excluded and banished from the family. I notify her that I am against gay marriage and cite being donor-conceived as the essential experience that informs and shapes my opinion on this subject. She responds “but marriage and donor-conception have nothing to do with each other.” Even though she just propped up her son as the main reason why she and her partner should receive marriage privileges.
If I post something on facebook that has anything to do with marriage, abortion, euthanasia, 3pR, sex & gender relations… I know exactly which of my friends will respond and how. It’s always the same crowd, same fight. Their adherence to the “left” or “right” on one issue informs their likelihood of responding to the “left” or “right” on another Life or Dignity-related issue. Because there is an underlying philosophy that heads their thinking on all of them. Last night, Robby George explained that underlying philosophy to be:
The Dualism of the mind and body.
If “we”, our true selves, are our mind, and our body is just a vessel- then what harm are drugs, promiscuity, abortion, and 3PR? Gender will be just a social construction. Rape will be a physical crime with only temporary wounds. If my body is separate from “me” than it is totally ridiculous and pointless that I am spending so much time talking about and pining for my biological father. Everything Malcolm X said about the crime of separating blacks from family members and their ancestry as consequences of the slave trade should be considered intellectually void, invalid.
But the body is the person. I am a woman. I am an amalgam of my father and mother. And they are of their mother and father. Intending parents that choose to dismember the human body and separate parenting into services rendered- particularly through surrogacy and egg donation, are dehumanizing their child.
They. are. dehumanizing. their child.
They are separating the person from a precious and sacred element of what it means to be human- having a mother and father. And it all stems from the mistake of philosophically separating the mind from the body. For parents via 3PR, I am not the enemy to their children finding happiness. Neither is the Catholic church. The enemy to their children’s happiness is humanity itself. Humanity as it has always been known. For them, their fight is with every book that ever mentions a mother, or father, every film, every Mother’s Day event at school, every image on a billboard with a pregnant woman, or intact family cooing their child that just so happens to look like a perfect blend of them both. In order for parents via 3PR to protect their child from pain, they will have to isolate them completely from any and every reminder of what every human in history has always had: a mother and father.
So…. good luck with that.