But now that I've had time to digest what the panellists were actually trying to get at (I can sometime be a bit slow on the uptake) I think the following things:
1 - Is it preferable to have babies grown in jars like in "A Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley. I think that anything is preferable to the current demonization and patronisation of those amazing women who offer to be surrogates by being called womb-renters. In reality most surrogates are empowered women who are choosing to enrich the lives of others but giving the gift of a child. They are making informed, educated and consensual decisions about the process. Of course there are always jurisdictions where exploitation is going to happen but in an open and honest relationship with an agency and surrogate this should not happen.
2- Would increased regulation be the right thing - in arguably a male dominated legislative society I think that increased regulation could be seen as an attempt to prove that women are not able to make decisions about their own bodies as well as an inability to make decisions that are right for them. Do I think that the current regulation is out-dated, yes I do. Does it need to be amended to keep up with the times, yes it does. How can we change it - that is a question that is down to the lawyers but I think anything allowing for increased education, guidance and counselling is a starting point! I also think that any new legislation needs to include a framework so that surrogate, intended parents and unborn children are FULLY protected. It finally needs to have a global reach as international surrogacy is here to stay and there needs to be some form of standard set of guidelines.
3 - Do I think that every person going through surrogacy is rich and lazy - in one word, no. I think that people look at surrogacy as an alternative route to having a family for a variety of reasons but generally it is for 2: an inability to get pregnant or an inability to stay pregnant. Yes, there are people who want to outsource because they're too busy being busy but I would say 99.9% of the people who go through surrogacy are emotionally exhausted as an inability to conceive or carry and actually financially struggle to save the huge amount of money needed to go through surrogacy and cherish the child born to them by a surrogate.
Anyway, I'm going to be quiet now and let you listen to the show...