A 19-year-old woman from Nagpur, India, was found unconscious on a road in the town of Ujjain on November 6. She had been sold to a couple who allegedly forced her into pregnancy and left her for dead after she gave birth to the child.
According to the Times of India, when she was found, the young woman had no identification and the police did not know what had happened to her. She was taken to a medical center and regained consciousness there five days later. That’s when she told police about the ordeal she had survived.
The young woman said she had been held captive for 16 months by a couple to whom she had been sold by a female sex trafficker who had promised to give her a well-paying job. The couple, Rajpal Singh and his wife, had wanted another baby after their first two children died from unknown causes. The couple has said their children died from an accident, but they have also claimed the children died from an illness. However, Singh’s wife had been sterilized after giving birth to the children. Desperate for another baby, the couple is said to have bought this young woman and held her captive for months, during which time Singh repeatedly raped her.
Once the young woman became pregnant, Singh and his wife would bring her to checkups by forcing her into their car and hiding her there. They had staged a fake pregnancy for the wife, convincing their neighbors that she was actually pregnant. When the victim underwent a C-section, they checked her into the hospital under Singh’s wife’s name. After the baby was born, the couple reportedly dumped the young woman in the road.
When she was found and taken to the medical center, health care workers discovered she had an infection from the C-section.
According to reports, five people have been arrested for the woman’s forced surrogacy, rape, and human trafficking. It is unclear who is currently caring for the baby, who is biologically the child of the trafficking survivor.
Surrogacy — even when legal — dehumanizes women and treats children as commodities. As explained by Live Action News’ Cassy Fiano-Chesser, “The very notion of a wealthy person buying a poor person’s body for the purpose of creating children for them should be horrifying […], but the world largely looks the other way.”
This dehumanization of both women and children is fueled by the belief that those who are unable to conceive children naturally have a right to use another woman’s body to get the child they believe they have a right to have, with children seen as commodities to be bought at will. Surrogates are treated as mere vessels that deliver the desired ‘products’ and then disappear. And in this case, this couple appeared to believe that they deserved a child, regardless of the cost to others.
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