Tuesday, April 28, 2015

In Nepal Aftermath, Feiglin Has Questions on Gays, Surrogacy

Iyar 9, 5775, 28/04/15 08:10
Firestorm over ex-MK's thoughts about the gay men who hired surrogate mothers for the babies now being extricated.
By Gil Ronen
Moshe Feiglin – who was a Likud MK in 2013-2015 – is out of the Knesset, for now at least, but his nonconformist thinking continues to arouse interest and spark fiery debate.

Feiglin took issue with the uniformly uncritical and adoring way Israel's media has been covering the plight of gay parents who were stranded with their newborn babies in harsh conditions, following the Nepal earthquake. These men hired poor Indian women to serve as surrogate mothers for their babies and then brought them to Nepal in order to give birth, because Indian law no longer allows gays to enter the country for the purpose of taking babies who were born through surrogacy.

About 20 such babies were born in Nepal in the days that immediately preceded the earthquake there. As a result, their gay parents reported situations of extreme distress. TV reports show the back seats of cars replacing the incubators in which some of the preemie babies had been held, and other difficulties faced by the parents.

In a Facebook post, Feiglin quoted two such men, who had been staying at a hotel that collapsed, as telling the press: “We got away with the children but the state [Israel – ed.] is not helping us. We have no diapers, there is no Materna [breastmilk substitute – ed.] and it will soon be nighttime, and it is starting to rain.”

Feiglin noted the obvious: the reason the fathers cannot feed their babies is that "they do not have breasts": "In other words, suddenly, when the outer shell of enlightenment and progress was abruptly shed, when the shaking earth left you and your child alone with it, without go-betweens – it suddenly turned out that a man has no breasts, and he cannot feed a newborn baby.”

"Of course,” he added, “one can conclude that whoever cannot breastfeed should walk around with a spare can of Materna on him, 24/7. Because you never know when an earthquake will catch you. That is the natural and obvious (and technically true) conclusion – for those who stick their heads in the sand.”

"But perhaps there is a deeper conclusion. Maybe, only maybe... it is not just the physical need that only the mother can satisfy. Maybe there is a spiritual equivalent – a kind of spiritual milk, you could say – that only she can provide? And maybe, only maybe, tempting a Third World woman to give birth to a child she will never see – is terrible cruelty? Did you think motherhood is an on-off thing?”

Feiglin noted that he is writing his post with trepidation, for fear of the backlash from gay activists. He explained, however, that he feels the need to write it because the children involved “are doomed to be motherless from the day they were born.” He also cited a recent US National Health Interview Survey that found that emotional problems were over twice as prevalent for children with same-sex parents than for children with opposite-sex parents. 

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