In the Throes of Revolution: Birthing Pangs of Medical Reproduction in Israel and Beyond

In Sayani Mitra, Silke Schicktanz & Tulsi Patel (eds.), Cross-Cultural Comparisons on Surrogacy and Egg Donation: Interdisciplinary Perspectives From India, Germany and Israel. Springer Verlag. pp. 327-349 (2018)


This is a retrospective of surrogacy in Israel in the context of medically assisted reproduction. The practice of surrogacy emerged in the 1980s, suggesting a radical view of women as autonomous reproductive agents free from double standards of patriarchy. In 1995 Israel enacted a law that regulated domestic surrogacy for the benefit of infertile married women in accord with orthodox views of halakha. In recent years we see the growth of inter-country practices catering to otherwise ineligible intended parents, and a demand for posthumous male reproduction. Meanwhile, women become objects of intrusive medical procedures and commodities of a global market, more often than not for the benefit of others rather than themselves. Yet the essence of human reproduction remains relational, and calls for care and responsibility.

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