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"Give me children, or else I die. Am I in God's stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb? Behold my maid Bilhah. She shall bear fruit upon my knees, that I may also have children by her." Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood

In Atwood's novel, which takes place "after the catastrophe, when they shot the president and machine-gunned the Congress and blamed it on the Islamic fanatics," becoming pregnant is the one thing the Handmaids can do to rescue themselves from death. Not so for today's surrogates.

"Brooke Lee Brown, 34, of Burley, [Idaho] passed away Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015, at St. Luke's Regional Medical Center in Boise, due to complications during pregnancy."

On Oct 8, just days before her 35th birthday, Brooke reportedly died either of placental abruption - the result of the placenta separating from the inner wall of the uterus before delivery - or amniotic fluid embolisms. Both are rare pregnancy complications that can occur suddenly in the last trimester and, left untreated, put both mother and baby in jeopardy... see more