Pope Francis Calls for Global Ban on Surrogacy, Citing Exploitation of Women

Vatican City, Italy – Pope Francis has issued a call for a global ban on surrogacy, claiming that the practice exploits women. In a speech to diplomats earlier this week, the pontiff denounced surrogacy as a violation of the dignity of women and children. He argued that it turns a child into a commodity and perpetuates commercial contracts.

However, not everyone agrees with the Pope’s stance. Sunshine Hanson, a three-time gestational surrogate and founder of Surrogacy Is, argues that surrogacy is a brave choice made by parents who trust another person to carry their child. She believes that surrogates should be compensated for their time, effort, and sacrifice, and that the compensation is not their main source of income. Hanson advocates for increased protections for surrogates and points out that many go through rigorous screening processes before participating in surrogacy.

Gestational surrogacy, the most common form of surrogacy today, involves a person carrying another couple’s embryo and giving birth on their behalf. While the practice is legal in the United States, it is not regulated at the federal level, leaving it up to individual states to establish their own laws. Some states explicitly allow surrogacy, while others have legal restrictions or bans.

Critics argue that surrogacy commodifies women’s bodies and exploits their financial needs. In a 2018 report, a United Nations Special Rapporteur went as far as to say that commercial surrogacy “usually amounts to the sale of children” and called for global regulation of the practice. However, proponents of surrogacy maintain that it is a choice made by consenting adults and that it can bring joy and fulfillment to intended parents.

Surrogates in the United States can earn around $40,000 or more for their services, with all medical costs typically covered by the intended parents. Despite the financial compensation, surrogacy advocates emphasize that the process entails physical and emotional challenges that go beyond monetary rewards.

The debate surrounding surrogacy extends beyond the United States, with some countries outright banning the practice. While unpaid surrogacy is legal in Canada, countries like Italy and Spain have prohibited surrogacy altogether. The differing perspectives on surrogacy highlight the complexities and ethical considerations involved.

As surrogacy becomes more prevalent in popular culture, with celebrities like Chrissy Teigen and Anderson Cooper sharing their experiences, the practice continues to evolve and face scrutiny. Some states, such as New York, have recently passed legislation to legalize and regulate gestational surrogacy, while others like Idaho are considering implementing legal best practices.

In conclusion, Pope Francis has called for a worldwide ban on surrogacy, arguing that it exploits women and commodifies children. However, surrogacy advocates defend the practice as a personal choice that can bring happiness to intended parents. The debate surrounding surrogacy raises questions about ethics, regulation, and the rights of both surrogates and intended parents.