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Please Oppose Louisiana's SB 162, the Commercialization of Surrogacy

I'm submitting the following opinion piece to The Baton Rouge Advocate:

Please urge the House of Representatives to vote against SB 162, which would legalize commercial surrogacy and contract pregnancy in Louisiana—the so-called “renting of wombs.” This legislation represents a profound attack on the dignity of women, as well as all human life, as such surrogacy necessarily involves the willful destruction of human embryos and threatens the structure and sanctity of the family. In part due to the controversial “Baby M” case of 1987, Louisiana has long held a public policy against this, and this policy must continue.

On May 8, Kathleen Sloan of the National Organization of Women (NOW) and Jennifer Lahl, President of the Center for Bioethics and Culture, penned an open letter to theLouisiana House of Representatives urging their rejection of SB 162. They wrote that the “inevitable consequence of this legislation is that it turns women into exploitable commodities through financial inducement that targets young healthy women.”

Moreover, the Catechism of the Catholic Church describes such “dissociation of husband and wife” through surrogacy as “gravely immoral” (par. 2376). In Donum vitae, the “Gift of Life,” the Church stated that “A child is not something owed to one, but is a gift” (CDF, Donum vitae II, 8). A child “may not be considered a piece of property.” Surrogacy offends a child’s rights “to be the fruit of the specific act of the conjugal love of his parents,” and “to be respected as a person from the moment of his conception.”  

The Catholic Church further describes such surrogacy as establishing “the domination of technology over the origin and destiny of the human person” which is “contrary to the dignity and equality” of parents and children (CDF, Donum vitae II, 5).

Sloan and Lahl wrote in their open letter, supra: “SB 162 would entice financially vulnerable women with ‘reasonable living expenses’ in the range of $25-50,000 to undergo medical procedures that pose serious health risks. These procedures involve multiple daily injections of carcinogenic synthetic hormones in order to prepare her body for the transfer and acceptance of an embryo.” As State Senator Gary Smith [the author of SB 162] admitted in committee, it turns the woman into an “oven.”

Please urge your Representative to vote NO to SB 162. Please help Louisiana to uphold the inherent dignity of women, children, and the family.

May God continue to bless our State,
Scott Smith

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