A podcaster for the right-wing Daily Wire has compared gay couples finding egg donors to conceive children to slavery, even though straight couples regularly use donors to have kids.
In the February 21 edition of The Michael Knowles Show, the host played a TikTok video of a gay male couple sharing their joy at finding an egg donor after two potential donors declined. Knowles said the men were “bragging about how they purchased a baby.” But the men were discussing finding an egg cell donor, not a fully-born baby (something better known as adoption).
Regardless, Knowles — who recently claimed that all demons are transgender — began imitating the couple’s accent while imagining them shopping for a Black slave.
“We were going to look to where we could buy our cotton picker,” Knowles said. “We knew we wanted a cotton picker with nice big broad shoulders and nice thick, stocky legs like tree trunks. You know? Doing a great job out there in the field. And so we went, the first one didn’t work out. Second one, we couldn’t quite get them … at the fair. But the third one, finally we got him. Isn’t that great?”
Knowles then added, “Call me crazy. Call me old-fashioned. Call me some fuddy-duddy. I think it’s wrong to buy people.” He said the U.S. “fought a very bloody war” to stop people “going to a slave market and just viewing people as brute animals and then purchasing them.”
Naturally, there’s a difference between purchasing a fully-formed human being for lifelong exploitation and acquiring an egg or sperm cell to birth a child into a loving home.
But, undeterred, Knowles said, “And now we just do it again. Instead of buying Black guys, we buy the eggs of poor women and then we rent the wombs of other poor women and then we have purchased ourselves a designer baby – with just the right hair that we wanted and just the right eyes…. Really awful.”
He offered no proof to back up his claim that “poor women” are forced to sell their eggs and wombs. He also completely ignored the fact that, unlike slaves, women can voluntarily choose whether or not to do this.
An estimated 16,000 childbirths each year involve egg donors, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). An estimated 30,000 to 60,000 U.S. childbirths involve sperm donors, according to The Atlantic. An estimated 3,432 U.S. childbirths in 2013 involved surrogate wombs, the CDC says.
That means that anywhere from around 50,000 to 80,000 children each year are born from donors — though Knowles seems to only consider it “slavery” when done by gay couples.
Knowles said, “These men decided to create a child with the express intent of ripping that child away from his mother. It is the most evil thing going on in the country today other than abortion.”
Whether he knew it or not, Knowles was essentially repeating a decades-old anti-LGBTQ+ line that “every child deserves a mother and father.” Matt Walsh, another anti-trans Daily Wire podcaster, has said the same thing, but both men are incorrect. Numerous studies have shown that same-sex couples raise children just as healthy as mixed-gender parents. Also, they’re inadvertently arguing that single parents shouldn’t be allowed to raise kids, either.
While the comparison of egg, sperm, and womb donations to slavery is absurd, right-wingers seem determined to do away with such donations nonetheless. Following the overturning of abortion rights in the U.S. last June, a Republican lawmaker was caught on tape asking about how to push for restrictions on in vitro fertilization (IVF) and contraception.
To maximize the chances of a viable pregnancy, it’s common for IVF practitioners to fertilize more than one egg cell and then discard any extra fertilized eggs once one is successfully implanted. However, many trigger laws designed to outlaw abortion across the country define life as beginning at fertilization. As such, state laws may make it harder for people to use IVF for childbirth in the future.
“Without the protections of Roe v Wade, it is possible that state lawmakers may feel empowered to create barriers for people to access medical procedures like IVF,” Shelbi Day, Chief Policy Officer at the nonprofit organization Family Equality, told LGBTQ Nation, “which is deeply troubling for LGBTQ+ people and anyone who needs access to IVF to expand their family.”