The Corner

Surrogacy

Matthew Yglesias reads something I meant mostly as a banal sociological observation as mostly a moral objection. His comment: “When egalitarian liberals object to things like surrogate motherhood, I understand where they’re coming from even as I disagree. But what is one to make of something like Ramesh Ponnuru’s apparent egalitarian objections? Differential financial power is objectionable enough that it provides a grounds for banning certain kinds of consensual transactions, but it’s not sufficiently objectionable that we should actually do anything to try to eliminate or ameliorate it?”

“Differential financial power” is not the main reason I object to surrogacy, but I can see where Yglesias got that idea. I don’t, on the other hand, see where he got the idea that I want to ban commercial surrogacy; maybe in some ideal society, but not in ours. (Even if he were spot-on about my views, though, I don’t think his criticism would have much force.)

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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