The Birthing Precariat: Altruism in the Service of Capital

Majumdar, Anindita (2021) The Birthing Precariat: Altruism in the Service of Capital. Broadsheet on Contemporary Politics (15). pp. 39-41. ISSN 2278-3423

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In circulating imagery of babies born in 'isolation' away from their desiring parents-to-be, in IVF clinics, through the labour of a commercial surrogate during Covid 19, there is only one missing person. The commercial surrogate finds absolutely no mention in the birth of the child: all credit and pain is lavished on the IVF specialist, the clinician and the suffering intended parents, under lockdown in a faraway place. And why should she be mentioned? The commercial surrogate is not an 'essential service', the new term of labour that has replaced the 'essential goods' category in times of national and global crisis. Furthermore, recent legislation aims to position her in frames that threaten to appropriate her labour and identity from her as well. The Surrogacy Bill 2019 seeks to ban commercial surrogacy in favour of seeking the services of a surrogate from amongst close kin, who will undertake the gestation-birth without compensation-as an altruistic act.

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IITH Creators:
IITH CreatorsORCiD
Majumdar, AninditaUNSPECIFIED
Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: labour, women empowerment, women status in India, Birthing Precariat, Indian politics, south asian studies,
Subjects: Social sciences > Sociology
Social sciences
Social sciences > Asian Studies
Arts > Liberal arts
Divisions: Department of Liberal Arts
Depositing User: . LibTrainee 2021
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2021 12:04
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2021 12:06
Publisher URL:
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