Warning: This news story reads like the script of a horror movie.
Police in Thailand have rescued 14 Vietnamese women who were being held captive as part of a surrogate baby breeding ring.
The company at the head of the operation, Baby 101, advertised surrogacy services to childless Taiwanese couples, and allegedly kept the surrogate women against their will in two houses in Bangkok after confiscating their passports. (Commercial surrogacy is illegal in Taiwan.)
Horrified yet? But wait, it gets worse.
Police at the scene said that some of the women had been artificially inseminated with "clients' sperm" while others "looked like they had been raped."
So where did these 14 women come from?
Some of the recently freed women said they had volunteered to work after being promised $5,000 for each baby. But four women said they had been "tricked" into being surrogates. A 35-year-old Taiwanese woman, who ran the operation, has been arrested on human trafficking charges.
Somehow the women were able to relay an email to the Vietnamese embassy, which tipped off Thai authorities and led to the raid of the Baby 101 facility. And speaking of Baby 101, perhaps you'd be interested in seeing how it advertised itself on its website:
We could create the finest procreation condition for your baby, mainly through the efficient embryo refining, only the superior left for implanting.
I'm too upset to even try to decipher that statement.
I hope that you're thinking what I'm thinking -- that this "arrangement" in no way should be termed "surrogacy." Surrogacy is a consensual agreement in which a woman carries and delivers a child for another couple or person.
This revolting situation is the enslavement of women for the purpose of forcing them to have a baby. In other words, it's the globalization of reproductive technology in a very perverse, brutal, and frightening form, not to mention a blatant violation of human rights.
And what's even more disturbing? Wondering if there are other such breeding rings that have not been yet discovered.
Image via Hafdis H/Flickr