Millennium Post

Of Womb and Diplomacy

Amidst the ongoing surrogacy debate, author Pinki Virani comes out with a book that is no less of a revelation. 

Politics Of The Womb draws on wide-ranging investigation and research to present a damning indictment of what is sold to desperately wanting-to-be parents as miraculous medico-technology. 

It states the factual failure rates of IVF and other reproductive techniques. It points to the futility of such artificial assistance that deals with a father passing on his genetic infertility to his IVF-child. 

The book uncovers something called an ‘IVF-package’ which becomes the woman and her unborn, through which a newly born baby is denied colostrum – its fundamental foremost-hour feed – from breastmilk.

This shocking, first-of-its-kind exposition of the workings of the reproduction industry also lays bare what is done to a woman’s body through such hyper-medicalisation. As it does the placing of parts of the womb in the marketplace, divided up and traded as ova, uterus. With little concern for the cancers which can be a possibility. 

The development of reproductive technologies and the associated commoditisation of pregnancy since the 1980s are inseparable more so, in a country like India where people suffer from abject poverty and impoverishment.

Politics Of The Womb comprehensively tracks the death of commercial surrogates. The emotional exploitation of a female’s body. The genetic thefts. The rampant human and ova trafficking. The moral compass-lost procedures behind “designer offspring”. And the very real risk of broken babies and breaking mother. Are such secrets being intentionally suppressed? Buried, because of the bottom line which is just business for a burgeoning repro tech industry?

For long, the women in our society have been blamed for not being able to get pregnant and take the family name further. 

Virani has highlighted the basic essence of a journey of a woman’s life, childless. Among life s choices is to have children or remain childfree. Yet those who want a child and find themselves unable, live through the trauma of infertility cruelly attributed as their fault to undergo the tribulations of assisted reproductive technology. But how safe is aggressive IVF, invasive ICSI, exploitative ovarian hyper-stimulation and commercial surrogacy?

Virani proves that there can be broken babies and breaking mothers; it rips away the romanticism around uterus transplants, warns of genetic theft and designer babies , and points to the human element being sacrificed, as artificial reproduction uses, reuses and recycles the woman. 
The author combines investigation with analysis to question those who lead the worldwide onslaught on the woman s womb in the name of babies, and squarely confronts what has become the business of baby-making by a chain of suppliers that manufactures on demand.

Virani suggests that a regulatory board or authority should ensure that licences for assisted reproduction clinics are given out selectively and these are monitored rigorously. 

This book is recommended to people who wish to find truth on the perils of IVF, surrogacy and modified babies. People have been talking about how this whole system is full of loopholes and lacks jurisdiction... Virani talks about how one needs to understand this better from a woman’s point of view. 
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