Following an unsuccessful attempt to legalize commercial surrogacy last year, New York state has reintroduced legislation that would allow the practice, which is drawing criticism from religious leaders and feminist groups.
New York state Assembly Bill 1071 and its companion in the state Senate, Bill 2071, would lift prohibitions on surrogacy and allow for embryos created in a lab via in vitro fertilization — using sperm and eggs that might or might not be from the couple procuring surrogacy services — to be transferred to the womb of a surrogate. The surrogate mother would then, per legal contract, give up all rights to the child after it’s born.
Some religious leaders say the bill poses a danger to women and benefits those who are financially well-off.
“The surrogacy legislation is designed mainly to benefit wealthy men who can afford tens of thousands of dollars to pay baby brokers, at the expense of low-income women,” said Kathleen M. Gallagher, director of pro-life activities for the New York State Catholic Conference, according to Catholic News Agency.
The Catholic Church has decried surrogacy and artificial reproductive technologies that involve the “dissociation of husband and wife, by the intrusion of a person other than the couple (donation of sperm or ovum, surrogate uterus),” describing the practices as “gravely immoral” in its Catechism.
The Catholic Church is not alone in its opposition to the New York bill.
“No New Yorker should regard putting women’s bodies up for sale as a civil rights advance, no matter whom it allegedly benefits. Women aren’t property,” Natasha Chart, board chair of the radical feminist group Women’s Liberation Front, told The Christian Post in an email on Friday.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter