Surrogacy, revealing the paradoxes of environmentalists on bioethics

For some, the environmental candidate does not surprise, by addressing the LGBT fringe of his electorate. For the others, he made a big mistake, “Putting ecofeminists on their backs”, according to the expression of an ecologist of the seraglio. Proof that by relaunching his idea – already mentioned in the magazine Stubborn in June 2021 – from “Ethical surrogacy”, the green presidential candidate, Yannick Jadot, tackles a delicate subject. At the risk of reviving tensions in his camp.

→ READ. Presidential 2022: Yannick Jadot wants to relaunch a green dynamic

The stakes of bioethics work for a long time the ecologists. “Basically, we can distinguish two great traditions, summarizes the essayist and traveling companion Édouard Gaudot. Conservative, for whom the balances of living things must be respected, with great reservations about its handling; liberal, which places in the foreground the emancipation of the individual and non-discrimination. “

A party worked on by bioethics issues

Among the French Greens who are clearly in the second fringe, this anchoring “Emancipator”, conducive to a very open conception of artificial procreation, collides with another equally important anchor: an ecology that ” process (…) a questioning in relation to technique and science, and to this desire of the human being to want to dominate everything ”, as indicated in our columns the former national secretary of EELV, Pascal Durand.

In this regard, “The subjects of bioethics and surrogacy are tricky, notes the philosopher Dominique Bourg, because by wanting absolutely to distinguish themselves from a conservative tradition, which they conspire, and place on the right, they end up contradicting themselves! “. In fact, how to be alarmed by GMOs disseminated in the environment while defending research on the human embryo? How to show concern for a fragile biodiversity while agreeing to the most advanced innovations of biotechnology? José Bové had raised these tensions on several occasions, without always being understood.

“Everything seems simple”

Not to mention that surrogacy introduces an additional degree of complexity, because it is no longer just a question of the individual right to resort to a procreative technique, but to resort to the female body. For Yannick Jadot, everything seems simple: “You can organize surrogacy in an entirely non-market way”, he explains, so “Ethics”even for the surrogate mother.

“Except that it doesn’t exist, considers Bruno Saintôt, head of the biomedical ethics department of the Sèvres Center, because there is always a form of contract for the abandonment of the child with the sponsoring couple – in particular, it is necessary to provide for the case of a baby that does not meet expectations – and compensation to compensate for the nine months spent in his service. “

Surrogacy, ethical or not, then comes up against a very powerful feminist tradition among environmentalists. Activists have also reacted to the proposal of candidate Jadot, believing that, even without commodification, surrogacy amounted to exploiting the body of women, undermining the principle – key in French law – of its “Unavailability”.

Nobody believes, again, in the table drawn up by the candidate, evoking on Franceinfo two sisters who could help each other, almost in the intimacy of a family relationship. “Carrying out surrogacy today is necessarily part of a highly technical medical system”, expensive and energy intensive, “With in vitro fertilization, prenatal diagnosis, etc.” “, Bruno Saintôt still points out. At the risk, again, of hitting the ecological fundamentals of sobriety and deceleration.


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