Considering how perpetually en vogue it is to create and uphold laws about what women can and cannot do with their bodies, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that in some parts of the world, surrogacy is illegal. In case you’re unfamiliar, surrogacy is when a woman carries a baby to term that is not intended to be her own. A woman who cannot have children may seek a willing surrogate into whom she might have her own eggs and her partner’s sperm implanted. Essentially, a surrogate functions as an incubator.
Based on the type of surrogacy and the terms of the agreement, though, the surrogate’s own eggs may be used in the pregnancy — which complicates the idea that the baby isn’t really hers. We explore the legal and political tangle that is surrogacy below: