Pope Francis Is Right. The World Should Ban Surrogacy (?)
Oh boy! Another diffcult issue to navigate. AUBREY GULICK (below) is a young conservative but she is also a devout Catholic and that has clearly influenced her views.
I think she is wrong. As I see it, surrogacy brings human beings into the world who otherwise would not exist so it is to be praised.
Her big objection is that not all fertilized eggs during a surrogacy process will result in a pregnancy. Fertilized eggs are real human beings and their death is akin to murder.
I do agree that all fertilized eggs are full human beings but it is myopic to say that their loss is akin to murder. Fertilized eggs are routinely lost during menstruation. That only some fertilized eggs survive is nature's way and surrogacy in fact REDUCES those losses. And the products of surrogacy are clearly very much wanted so should normally be treated well
Catholicism can be very dogmatic but I hope it releases its grip on Aubrey in this matter
Blue eyes. Blond hair. Somewhere between 5’9 and 6’3. Does that sound like the ideal baby boy? Or maybe you wanted a girl with brown hair and green eyes who would grow to be 5’3. Until very recently, that wasn’t a choice anyone got to make. Now, with surrogacy, almost anyone can.
Of course, that doesn’t mean surrogacy is moral, and the Catholic Church has been consistent in its opposition to the practice because it amounts to trafficking unborn children. On Monday, Pope Francis called for a global ban on surrogacy during an address to diplomats gathered in Vatican City in which he discussed a wide range of global issues, including the wars in Ukraine and Israel and the persecution of Christians in Nigeria. (READ MORE: Kellyanne Conway’s Contraception Gambit)
“The path to peace calls for respect for life, for every human life, starting with the life of the unborn child in the mother’s womb, which cannot be suppressed or turned into an object of trafficking,” Francis said. “In this regard, I deem deplorable the practice of so-called surrogate motherhood, which represents a grave violation of the dignity of the woman and the child, based on the exploitation of situations of the mother’s material needs. A child is always a gift and never the basis of a commercial contract.”
Surrogacy Grows in Popularity
But Francis didn’t just speak out against surrogacy, which he has done before; he called on the world to ban the practice altogether — and he did so in the face of an industry that is growing exponentially. Global Market Insights estimates that by 2032, the surrogate market will have grown ninefold compared to 2022 data, becoming an industry worth $129 billion. Surrogacy isn’t exactly new (“Baby M,” the subject of a contentious case that went to the New Jersey Supreme Court, was born in the 1980s), but its popularity has skyrocketed over the last few years.
There are several reasons for that. As homosexuality becomes more widely acceptable, those practicing the lifestyle want to have biological children, and that requires using a surrogate. Celebrities who want children often turn to surrogacy for health reasons or convenience. Couples who were married late in life or who struggle with fertility will sometimes do the same. Of course, surrogacy doesn’t work as an industry unless women are willing to carry someone else’s child for nine months — and those living in war-torn countries like Ukraine, countries with third-world economies (some of which have wisely banned the practice), or situations with low incomes and few career opportunities, usually are.
As the practice has become more popular, stories like that of Shane Dawson and Ryland Adams have received a lot of attention in the media. Despite Dawson’s demonstrable pedophilic tendencies, the popular YouTubers were recently able to take home twin boys conceived via an egg donor and birthed by another woman. An estimated 10 children were discarded in the process after Dawson and Adams decided which babies they wanted. (RELATED: Shane Dawson and Ryland Adams’ Use of Surrogacy Showcases the Practice’s Grotesqueness)
Product of the Culture of Death
While Dawson and Adams’ case is particularly horrific, the problem with surrogacy and in-vitro fertilization isn’t only that the gay couple deprives a child of his or her mother but that the process itself is immoral. Millions of tiny, unborn babies are frozen or killed, and the miraculous process of bringing life into the world is reduced to a contractual relationship in which thousands of dollars pass hands.
The same is true when a heterosexual couple struggling with infertility or sexual trauma turns to surrogacy to build a family. The ends don’t justify the means, and the process should be illegal. Fortunately, in some places like Italy, Spain, and India, it is. Unfortunately, in the United States, surrogacy is governed by a patchwork of laws across the states, and only three ban it outright.
As Francis pointed out in Monday’s address, surrogacy and its popularity are a product of the culture of death in which we live. “At every moment of its existence, human life must be preserved and defended; yet I note with regret, especially in the West, the continued spread of a culture of death, which in the name of a false compassion discards children, the elderly, and the sick,” the pope said.
The pontiff is, of course, quite right. Children ought to be the natural product of the love between a man and a woman — a wonderful, miraculous outflowing of their relationship. They should never be a commodity, ordered out of a catalog in a desire to satisfy the egos of the people who claim to be their parents.