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"On Wednesday, Premila, who was eight months pregnant, died due to unexplained complications. But she completed her job - the child was delivered and is in the NICU recuperating from early birth." Such was the message of the Time of India, reporting the death of a surrogate mother carrying a baby for a western couple. The surrogate mother, Premila, died unexpectedly perhaps after a heart attack, as doctors say, or perhaps from something completely different. We will never know for sure, because it is quite clear that Premila didn't receive the medical care that she needed and deserved. After the woman, who was 30 and had two kids of her own, had a convulsion, one of the first things doctors did was give her a c-section. The product they were after a baby for a western couple was salvaged. And in the end, isn't that all that matters?

The Indian press almost describes Premila as a hero, because at least she managed to finish her job before she dropped dead. The baby was born a month prematurely and is now being cared for in the NICU. Premila tried to help a"US-based couple to supplement her family income and brighten the future of her own two kids". Even in the West, the surrogacy industry is full of euphemisms. I've seen the words beautiful and selfless just a few times too many. In India, it's more than clear that being pregnant with another person's child, and taking all the medical risks involved with fertility drugs upon oneself, is often the only way to make a decent sum of money for poor Indian women.

Though they receive a mere fraction of the price western couples pay for their "surrogacy journey", it's possible to build a small house with the fee a surrogate receives. The Indian surrogates' motives for carrying someone else's baby are more than clear. But though being childless and struggling with infertility is no easy thing, can western couples really ethically justify using unregulated Indian surrogacy clinics to have a baby?

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