Paying for certain reproductive services in Canada — including egg donation, sperm donation and surrogacy — is currently illegal, but there are signs that may change. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said it's time to discuss the prohibition on paying surrogate mothers, and Liberal MP Anthony Housefather is set to table a bill that will decriminalize payment.
And while we embark on these conversations, it's important to take note of some of the misinformation circulating around this issue.
For starters, it has been suggested that "assisted human reproduction is the one area of law where we are still criminalizing women's bodies" and thus, the law should be changed.
This statement evokes abortion (an area of law where women's bodies were historically criminalized) to implicitly suggest that by putting any limitations on reproduction of any kind, the Assisted Human Reproduction Act — the law that prohibits paying for these services— limits women's reproductive rights. This is simply not true.
Women are freely able to participate in both egg donation and surrogacy, and the law is written explicitly to ensure that even if...