Pope Francis Calls for Universal Ban on Surrogacy, Deems Practice ‘Deplorable’

Vatican City – Pope Francis has called for a worldwide ban on surrogacy, denouncing the practice as “deplorable” in a speech delivered on Monday. Speaking at the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City, the Pope criticized the exploitation of women’s material needs through surrogate motherhood, stating that it gravely violates the dignity of both the woman and the child. According to him, a child should always be considered a gift and not the subject of a commercial arrangement. Pope Francis expressed his hope that the international community would act to universally prohibit this practice.

The Catholic Church has been a longstanding opponent of surrogacy and in vitro fertilization, arguing that these practices depersonalize conception and amount to the equivalent of abortion due to the disposal of embryos. While surrogacy is illegal in Italy and several other countries, its legality and restrictions vary from state to state in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Surrogacy has provided a pathway to parenthood for individuals and couples struggling with infertility or same-sex couples who are unable to conceive naturally. However, ethical concerns surrounding surrogacy persist, with questions raised about its potential for exploitation.

Pope Francis has faced opposition from more traditionalist factions within the Catholic Church for his progressive stances on contemporary issues, such as advocating for the acceptance of divorced and remarried Catholics and offering pastoral welcome to LGBTQ individuals. However, he has maintained a firm stance against abortion and surrogacy. In 2022, he denounced surrogacy as an inhumane practice that exploits impoverished women and treats children as commodities.

The Pontiff’s opposition to surrogacy aligns with his concerns about declining birth rates, particularly in Italy. He has urged political leaders to address the economic and social factors that hinder younger couples from starting families. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who shares his stance against surrogacy, has joined him in encouraging Italians to have more children.

Pope Francis’s call for a universal ban on surrogacy comes in the context of his ongoing critique of a culture of death present in wealthier countries that discards life. He warns against the commodification of new life and the prioritization of market forces over human needs.

In conclusion, Pope Francis has made a strong plea for a worldwide prohibition of surrogacy, condemning the practice as exploitative and contrary to the dignity of women and children. He hopes that the international community will take action to universalize this ban.