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Surrogate Mothers

September 13, 1987

I've heard enough about "poor" Mary Beth Whitehead. She wasn't forced to become a surrogate mother. She made a commitment and signed a contract; she is ethically and legally bound to fulfill its terms ("Surrogate Mothers: 'Let's Stop This' " by Elizabeth Mehren, Sept. 1).

I do feel a great deal of sympathy for the parents of "Baby M." Let us not forget there is also a biological father involved here, and his wife who was unable to have a child of her own--not to mention the child, who has been subjected to what must be a very confusing and likely painful start to her life.

Surrogate motherhood strikes me as a bad idea all around, but choosing Mary Beth Whitehead to rally around and calling the issue "reproductive slavery" is ludicrous. Slavery implies no choice, but surrogate mothers have a choice. Mary Beth Whitehead certainly did; she just made a bad choice.

SHERRY POTTER

Beverly Hills

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