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Tipsheet

Bioethicist Proposes Using Brain Dead Women as Surrogates

Last month, Townhall reported that a “gender program navigator” at a children’s hospital gave a presentation where she said that healthy women who are transitioning to live as men can donate their reproductive organs to biological men who identify as transgender women. 

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“Live donation has been something the [transgender] community has talked about for decades, it was really thought about as magical thinking,” the speaker, Alicyn Simpson, said. “This would be a live donation from a person who is assigned female at birth but identified as a transgender man. They say, ‘I have these parts. I don’t want them. You want them. You need them. So, what if I gave them to you?’”

Now, a bioethicist at the University of Oslo is coming forward claiming that women who are declared brain dead and being kept alive by technology should be utilized as surrogates.

According to pro-life organization Live Action, bioethicist Anna Smajdor wrote in the peer-reviewed journal Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics: “We already know that pregnancies can be successfully carried to term in brain-dead women.”

In addition, she wrote that the process is “straightforwardly the use of the body as a foetal container.” 

“There is no obvious medical reason why initiating such pregnancies would not be possible,” she added, claiming that using a dead woman as a surrogate “should be an option for anyone who wishes to avoid the risks and burdens of gestating a foetus in their own body.” 

“I suggest that brain stem dead men would also have the potential to gestate, meaning that the pool of potential donors is further increased – and that certain feminist concerns might thus be assuaged,” she continued.

Smajdor reportedly claimed that women would have to consent to this ahead of time. 

“We should be ready to embrace it as a logical and beneficial extension of activities that we already treat as being morally unproblematic,” she wrote.

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Live Action noted that in some situations, surrogates have been abandoned along with the child after the biological parents did not assume responsibility for the child. One example of this is former “The View” co-host Sherri Shepherd. 

In 2015, Live Action reported that Shepherd turned to “reproductive technology” when she and her then-husband could not conceive. With a donor egg and surrogate mother, Shepherd and her husband were going to become parents. During the pregnancy, the two chose to end their marriage and Shepherd reportedly decided she would not pay child support “and abandoned the baby whose life she helped to create:"

The little boy, named LJ, was born on August 5th of last year, but Shepherd refused to have her name listed on the birth certificate as his mother, was not present for the delivery, refused to have contact with the child, and even took him off of her health insurance. This was after, according to Sally, she asked for the divorce.

A judge ruled that Shepherd would be held responsible for the child. Shepherd appealed the ruling and lost. 

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