Female wombs in male bodies

The envious dream of all time -to be able to have children without women, to erase mothers, in short, the Grail- is getting closer and closer to being realised: in five to ten years' time, even biologically male trans people will be able to receive a womb transplant and conduct a gestation. An 'inclusive' wish-right that would improve their quality of life and alleviate the symptoms of dysphoria. While the lives and health of girls and boys born from these practices are of no concern to bioethicists
Please be aware that the translation of contents, although automatic, has a cost to Feminist Post but is provided to you without any charge. Please consider making a contribution via the "Support us" page if you intend to use our translation service intensively.
The contents of this site are translated using automatic translation systems without the intervention of professional translators.
Translations are provided for the sole purpose of facilitating reading by international visitors.
Share this article

Euronews gives an account of the rapid progress of research on the uterus transplantation front, with particular reference to the request of trans MtF people whose bodies remain biologically male, while FtM people, if they retain their female genital apparatus, can undertake a pregnancy like any other woman: the 'pregnant fathers' that the mainstream press likes to report on are none other than women who self-identify as men.

In the article, which we translate here, women are referred to as cis- women, a suffix we have voluntarily omitted. In addition, the desire of trans MtF people - which can be turned into an 'inclusive' right - and the legislative profile of the issue are discussed. What's more: the bioethicists and experts questioned regard a womb transplant and a possible pregnancy that would follow as a kind of therapy for trans MtF people, which would consolidate their self-perception of themselves as women and alleviate the discomfort of their dysphoria.

To these novelties must be added the promising research on gametes - ova and sperm - produced from stem cells, which would make 'donations' superfluous (read here).

Not a word instead about the girls and children who in the not too distant future might be born from these practices -pregnant in male bodies-, about their physical and psychological health, about their right to be preserved from such great stress. Their discomfort does not count. Their lives are not worthy of bioethical reasoning. The fate of humanity and the erasure of the mother are not considered significant issues. Rather, some concern is expressed that a possible donor might express a preference for a woman like herself, 'ruling out' donating her womb to biological males who perceive themselves as women.

Not even mentioned is the fact that the male dream of being able to gestate and give birth without women - womb envy, which reaches its peak in the Freudian reversal into penis envy - constitutes the millenary soul of the patriarchal construction, the cup full of blood transparently represented by the myth of the Grail (here in the image comparable with that of a womb) and still remains the pivot around which much of the research on assisted fertilisation revolves.

Uteri femminili in corpi maschili
Uteri femminili in corpi maschili

A year ago the news that a surgeon from New Delhi would soon attempted uterine transplant in a man who identifies as a transgender woman, operation never before successfully performed on a male body, success that has already been recorded in women with infertility problems attributable to uterine problems.

The first womb transplant delivery took place in Sweden, in 2014. Today they would be 90 uterus transplants performed worldwide from the end of 2021, with the birth of around 50 children.

Mats Brännström, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology and head physician at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, delivered the first baby born after a uterine transplant and He says he often receives e-mails from people 'assigned as males at birth' (i.e. biological males) asking him about the procedure. "I tell them that we have not done enough research," he explains, "but I think it will be possible in the future. It may take five or ten years, I would say'. He adds: 'If it is an effective and risk-free method, I do not believe that there are ethical limits'.

According to Nicola Williams, lecturer in media bioethics at Lanaster University, "there are definitely reasons based on equality to consider uterus transplants in transgender women. But there are also hormonal and anatomical considerations that mean that it will not be possible to transfer this procedure directly to the transgender population (...) to ensure that the procedure is safe and effective, Many studies on computer models, male animals and male cadavers will be necessary'.

"Ethically, I see no objection in principle to offering this intervention to trans women'. says Stephen Wilkinson, professor of bioethics at the same university: 'There are many positive ethical reasons for doing so. If we treat trans women as women and we accept their gender identity, and treat them equally in law and social practice, their request is as good as anyone else's".

In collaboration with other researchers, Wilkinson and Williams conducted a survey of 182 transgender women (see study here): most agree that the ability to gestate and give birth to children would improve the perception of one's femininity and alleviate the symptoms of dysphoria.

"I firmly believe that uterine transplantation allows for a specific kind of experience," said Chloe Romanis, lecturer in bio-law at the University of Durham and researcher at Harvard University, USA. "Wanting to be a parent is one thing, but wanting to be a gestational parent is another; it is a very unique experience. So I think it's something we have to respect.".

How uterine transplants differ from other transplants?

First, they are designed to be temporary: a woman receives a uterus, an embryo created by in vitro fertilisation (IVF) is implanted into it, she gives birth by caesarean section and finally undergoes a hysterectomy so as not to be forced to take immunosuppressants for longer than necessary, which may increase the risk of developing cancer. Things could become more complicated if the recipient requested a permanent uterus transplant, which could not be understood as a life-saving procedure.

In addition How would one decide who has priority on a possible waiting list? A woman born without a uterus or who has had a hysterectomy after cancer, or a trans woman?

Says Laura O'Donovan, research associate working with Williams. and Wilkinson at Lancaster University. "These transplants are not performed on women born without a uterus to consolidate their female identity and enable them to menstruate; there is a clear reproductive purpose here (...) A womb transplant in transgender women improves the quality of life, it is not life-saving'.

What would happen, for example, if a donor specified that she would only want to donate her womb to a woman and not to a trans woman? And how would it be decided that the need of one recipient is greater than that of another?

"I personally believe that both of these things are important," says Romanis, "and comparing them involves the danger of pitting two groups of women against each other in a way that is... is very dangerous. And it ends up marginalising minority groups'.

In addition to ethical considerations there are legal issues: for example, Would denying such transplants to transgender women violate anti-discrimination laws?

"In the UK, for example, with l'Equality Act would be illegal to discriminate on the basis of someone's gender' says O'Donovan. "Therefore, transgender women cannot be subject to discrimination on the basis of this characteristic, if womb transplants became mainstream, it might be illegal to refuse to perform one on a transgender woman solely because of his gender identity'.

Romanis recalls the debate among British academics on the 2008 National Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act, according to which an embryo must be implanted in a woman: "The position of a trans woman was discussed. Most liberal-minded people have read our equality legislation and said that under the law a trans woman is a woman. So as long as they have gone through the legal process to be recognised as women, must have access to in vitro fertilisation if they have a transplanted uterus'. According to the academic i uterine transplants are only one of the whole spectrum of assisted gestation technologies, a small part of a much broader technological future that also includes things like surrogacy and even artificial placentas or entities that could gestate outside the body. "I think that these technologies have the potential to really change the way we think about assisted gestation," he says. "And I think that could bring real benefits to marginalised groups, as long as they are applied in a certain way'.

introduction and translation by Marina Terragni, article by Euronews here.

Much of the news published by Feminist Post you will not read elsewhere. That is why it is important to support us, even with a small contribution: Feminist Post is produced solely by the voluntary work of many people and has no funding.
If you think our work can be useful for your life, we will be grateful for even the smallest contribution.

You can give us your contribution by clicking here: Patreon - Feminist Post
You might also be interested in
21 September 2023
Open letter to Health Minister Schillaci: medically assisted procreation does not increase the birth rate. On the contrary, it is among the causes of the demographic winter
Free homologous fertilisation and a €1,500 ticket for heterologous fertilisation: the minister announces new measures that would help stem the birth crisis. But it is the exact opposite: the more we feed the illusion of being able to postpone the birth of a child ad libitum - the results of PMA are poor: in more than 8 out of 10 cases it fails - the fewer children will be born. There is only one way: infertility prevention. Starting with correct information against the propaganda of the reproductive biomarket
Dear Minister Schillaci, we learn from press reports that as of 1 January next year the National Health Service will provide homologous fertilisation services free of charge and that it has established a co-payment for heterologous fertilisation - the responsibility of the region - which is expected to be around 1,500 euro. The provision would be part, according to him, of the measures against the birth rate in our country: less than 400 thousand births in 2022, the lowest number since the unification of Italy to date. In reality, as he explains [...]
Read now
20 September 2023
UK, you can no longer say 'woman' or 'mother': woke provisions of the General Medical Council
Decision of unprecedented violence by the British Medical Register: the word woman must be deleted at every level. It cannot even be mentioned when discussing motherhood, childbirth, breastfeeding, menopause. Even 999, the emergency number, can no longer ask what sex the person asking for help is. The woke know very well that the female body is the main obstacle to the transhuman project. And they want to erase it even in language
It keeps happening: women and mothers must also be erased from the vocabulary, at every level. They do not give up because the maternal symbolic is the most resistant obstacle to the transhuman project. We will not give up either. Forget it The General Medical Council -the public body that maintains the official register of doctors in the UK- has replaced the word 'mother' with neutral terms in its maternity guide for staff. The updated guide for employees who become pregnant omits [...]
Read now
7 September 2023
Appeal to the FDA: no more silence on puberty-blocking drugs
A petition asks the US drug agency -which has never authorised the off-label use of these substances for girls and boys with dysphoria- to counter the misinformation that propagates these treatments as effective and safe and to demand studies to prove it.Between 207 and 2021, the number of minors treated has more than doubled and the FDA can no longer pretend it is blind.
On his site Gender Clinic News Bernard Lane reports on an important petition to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration, US drug regulator) to take urgent action on the unapproved (off label) use of hormone suppressant drugs to block puberty in girls and boys who identify as transgender. Although this use has never been approved by the FDA, it is not possible for the agency to ignore the possible harm to minors who are subjected to these [...].
Read now
15 August 2023
Denmark: no more hormones for children! Even trans people say so
After the UK, Sweden, Finland, Norway and the Netherlands also Denmark says stop to puberty blockers for gender non-conforming girls: those drugs are experimental and there is no scientific evidence that they work. But here the government initiative is supported by important LGBT associations: this is the first time it has happened. And in Italy? You cannot even know how many minors are treated
Denmark is also backtracking on puberty blockers for children confused about their sex: the Danish health system will henceforth offer psychological therapies and no longer drugs to adolescents who have not reported discomfort with their birth sex since childhood. This was announced by Health Minister Sophie Løhde during a parliamentary debate that rejected a proposal by the populist Nye Borgerlige (New Zealand) party to completely ban gender transition for minors.
Read now
9 August 2023
Spain: inmate pregnant with trans cellmate
The man -intact male body and no hormone therapy- had asked and obtained to be moved to the women's prison in Alicante because he 'self-perceived' to be a woman (self-id). A cellmate's pregnancy was the result. And the new Ley Trans, in force since December 2022, will make such transfers easier and more frequent
In the Alicante Cumplimiento Penitentiary Centre, known as Fontcalent Prison, an inmate identifying himself as a woman impregnated a cellmate. According to the account confirmed by several prison sources, the inmate had been serving a sentence in the male module of the prison for several years, but during his stay he started to identify himself as a woman. On his papers he continues to appear as a man and has never undergone hormone treatment, let alone surgery. [...]
Read now
4 August 2023
Lesbian motherhood: open letter to Kathleen Stock
The gender critical philosopher says she is concerned about the rights of lesbian mothers being denied 'by the Meloni government'. But it was the judiciary and not the government that decided that only biological mothers can appear on birth certificates. In order for the law to recognise sexual difference in procreation, it is necessary for homosexual women to break the front with wealthy gay males who resort to surrogacy: homogeny is just ideology
We have been following closely and sisterly the story of Kathleen Stock, gender critical philosopher, author among others of Material Girls: Why Reality Matters for Feminism (Little, Brown Book Group, 2021) and former lecturer at the University of Sussex persecuted by transactivists: we have told her story here. Together with Martina Navratilova and Julie Bindel Stock she recently founded The Lesbian Project with the aim of reaffirming the specificity of lesbian identity. The aim of the project is 'to stop the disappearance of lesbians in the rainbow soup and to give [...]
Read now
1 2 3 ... 53