Noted BlazeTV personality Dave Rubin and his partner David Janet joyfully announced the pregnancy, by two surrogates and surrogate eggs, of their children on Twitter last week. The reception to the news was overwhelmingly positive even by conservative commentators. Rubin started as an on-air personality on the progressive Young Turks program. Over time, his politics have evolved from progressive to classically liberal. His Wikipedia page says that he considers himself conservative.
Many conservative big mouths have been uncharacteristically silent regarding this news. What is comfortable to discuss theoretically becomes uncomfortable in the particular and specific. In short, it’s difficult to criticize a friend’s life choices. This is understandable and explains the cultural slide America is currently enduring. Fear of personal and professional opprobrium silences conservatives. It’s why conservative commentators have gone from being anti-gay marriage to silent acquiescence and now approval of not only gay marriage but gay parenting, surrogacy, egg harvesting, and the invasive and wasteful technology used to make this sort of thing happen.
While people cheer the happy baby news, each step of the baby-making, having, and parenting process uses, abuses, and negates women. More than that, it denies the humanity and needs of the child. Less than a baby to nurture, the child is a commodity. The child is a product. The consumer is an adult who cannot obtain progeny by natural means and so must buy one by artificial means.
Dave Rubin and his partner seem like nice people. His interviews are curious and fair. He’s a breath of fresh air in a world where hyper-partisanship reigns. His popularity makes sense. However, his decision to get “married” and now, through surrogacy, to have children, is not conservative and should not be encouraged or framed as such.
Marriage, is, by definition, between one man and one woman. It is not only a secular contract, it is a sacramental and spiritual union. For thousands of years of human civilization, marriage was understood as being between man and woman with the purpose to create and nurture offspring. And, in fact, no amount of male-male or female-female sexual interaction will be productive. This obvious biological fact creates great difficulty for those wishing to abuse the language and pretend that a man with male DNA and sexual characteristics can, by simply stating his personal preference, announce that he is, in fact, a woman.
Reality denial has been codified into law now, and the last station this train pulls into will not be transgenderism.
The current absurdity leads to situations like the Pennsylvania swimmer, Lia Thomas, built like a linebacker yet still an average swimmer as a man, pretending to be a woman. The 6’1″ tall emperor walks around with girlish pursed lips and a women’s swimsuit and the elites nod approvingly, ignoring that this man’s narcissistic misogyny destroys opportunities for female swimmers. But this nonsense didn’t spring out of nowhere. The slippery slope that nearly every cultural commentator promised would never happen led to this place. Before transgenderism, there was gay parenting and, before that, gay “marriage.” Reality denial has been codified into law now, and the last station this train pulls into will not be transgenderism. Transgender ideology is simply another logical step down a biologically impossible path.
Two men cannot create a baby together. They must either copulate with a biological female or they must introduce technology to achieve their biological aims. In Dave Rubin’s case, he and his partner chose to use donor eggs and surrogates.
In vitro fertilization requires many eggs and a sperm donation. Not all eggs fertilize. Not all fertilized eggs develop normally. Not all fertilized eggs produce the desired gender. Not all healthy fertilized eggs implant into the surrogate’s uterus, so many embryos must be created. It is hoped that one embryo will implant. Sometimes more than one does and if the couple desires only one baby, the fertility doctor will perform a “reduction.” That is, the couple and doctor decide to abort the rapidly developing embryos and leave one alive. This process protects the surrogate mother’s health. Prospective parents usually want one child per pregnancy not two, three, or four. In the case of Dave Rubin and his partner, this process was completed with two surrogate women. How many babies were killed in this process? How many leftover embryos are frozen? And what will happen to the unused embryos?
Like the language around transgenderism and abortion, the language around infertility and surrogacy is muted, indirect, and belies a certain squeamishness about what is happening. This is for good reason. Many lives must be sacrificed so that the consumer gets the product he wants.
What about the women who serve as receptacles to house the baby product? They are paid, of course. Their business transaction is viewed as a noble gift. The women who use their bodies this way feel like they’re providing a beautiful service. Sometimes, the surrogate changes her mind. Sometimes the parents do. Sometimes, as in the case with Sofía Vergara after her separation from her fiancé, the fight is over who gets to keep (or destroy) the babies (as embryos.) When the contract goes well, a woman uses her body to birth a baby and then gives the child away.
Few consider how a surrogate mother must psychologically distance herself from the growing baby inside her womb. What damage does this do to the woman? How does her distance affect the baby? The physical and emotional risks to the mother aren’t carefully considered. The development of the baby isn’t either. Consider that a child’s language development begins in the womb. How many other subtle developmental changes occur while the woman is pregnant? How does that affect future development?
For those who want children but cannot have them, infertility can be despair-inducing. Desperation can lead to ethical quandaries our society ignores because the implications are too difficult to face. This denial of reality results in thousands of destroyed embryos and thousands of more stored embryos. It was estimated in 2010 that there were over 400,000 stored embryos. Most of these stored embryos are “abandoned” because storage prices are so high, but clinics don’t know what to do with them because they are, as they note, potential babies. (They are babies.) From NBC:
Since embryos are eggs that have been fertilized — and therefore have a potential for life — the dilemma over what to do with those that have been abandoned, and who should assume ownership of them, is a thorny one.
“The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the main guiding society for fertility doctors, has put out numerous papers indicating embryos are deserving of respect,” Sweet said. “This idea of abandoned embryos is an ethical conundrum.”
It is not known precisely how many frozen embryos have been abandoned in the more than 500 fertility clinics in the United States. Clinics are not required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, the nation’s primary organization dedicated to assisted reproductive technologies, to report those numbers.
But experts say hundreds of thousands of embryos have been cast aside, if not more.
Why are “clumps of cells” as the abortionists call them “deserving of respect?” These same doctors have no problem “reducing” implanted and further developed babies.
Once a baby is born to a same-sex couple, the child will be deprived — either of a mother or a father. Reams of research and thousands of years of human history support the premise that children need both a mother and a father. It has only been in the past 25 years that the experiment of single-sex parents has been put onto children. What are the long-term effects? It’s not yet known. In addition, finding studies that aren’t biased due to desired outcomes is challenging. It’s impolitic to release research that countervails the culturally accepted ideology — just ask Abigail Shrier and all those who study the transgender phenomenon.
What is known is the effects of a healthy mother and father relationship and having both in the home of the child. The lack of either a mother or a father changes outcomes for children.
The focus should be on what is best for the child. Instead, for far too many gay and straight couples, parenting has been about the acquisition of a shiny object, the pinnacle of material wealth and gain. It’s about them. Each step of the process is a technical, material decision.
Because America has a decadent and self-indulgent culture, children become a narcissistic extension of the self. The children find themselves the objet d’art, performing and playing a part for the parent. Meanwhile, the needs of the child to have a mother (or father) nurture them and model same- and opposite-gender behavior is lost.
None of this is conservative. Conservatives should be for conserving sexual biology, gender norms, and marriage (which is, by definition, between a man and a woman) as these ideas have been tried and true for thousands of years. More importantly, they work. Conservatives should resist the pull of the hedonistic sexual culture, of divorce, of pornography, and of unnatural sexual affection as all of these things interfere with the most important thing: bringing up healthy, whole children.
The lives of the most vulnerable depend on the courage of conservatives to speak the truth, even to friends. Should we be kind and loving to those we disagree with? Absolutely. Should we encourage actions that are inherently harmful? No. Why? Because to do so is to ignore all the destructive steps between the decision and actions to make these babies. Someone must stand for unborn and born. It falls on those who know better to do so.