Performance Artists Warn Against Commercial Baby Surrogacy Market Headed to New York State

by The Center for Bioethics and Culture on October 21, 2015

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Governor Cuomo Breaking with Father on Women’s Dignity Issue of Our Time?
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“Women Didn’t Come this Far to Be Treated Like Breeding Animals”

New York–Oct. 21…New Yorkers walking past Grand Central, Penn Station, or Saks 5th Avenue Wednesday will be confronted by a dystopian site — women soliciting their bodies for rent, not for sex, but for childbirth.

These paid actresses will be figuratively offering their wombs for lease to passersby to highlight the exploding, multi-billion-dollar paid surrogacy industry in America that preys on poor women and is lobbying to come to New York. Commercial gestational surrogacy was explicitly outlawed in the Empire State by Governor Mario Cuomo. Now, his son, New York governor Andrew Cuomo is reportedly entertaining the idea of legalizing it.

“When Mario Cuomo was governor, The New York State Task Force on Life and the Law said that commercial surrogacy, “could not be distinguished from the sale of children and that it placed children at significant risk of harm,” said Jennifer Lahl, President of the Center for Bioethics and Culture Network (CBCN), which sponsored the public education campaign Wednesday. “But that same task force under Governor Andrew Cuomo is now looking to legalize the very same practice. When did selling and harming children suddenly become okay?”

Ms. Lahl called on Governor Cuomo today to take a clear stance against commercial surrogacy in New York.  She was joined by other advocates at the event, and by women holding “Womb for Rent” signs.  

“This is the women’s dignity of issue of our time,” Ms. Lahl said. “Women didn’t come this far to be treated like breeding animals. Gestational surrogacy, and the aggressive  hormone  treatments it involves, can cause significant physical, emotional, and psychological harm to women, and to the children they bear.”

A paid surrogate mom from Idaho died this month while carrying twins for a Spanish couple. Surrogacy is illegal in Spain and other European countries. Paid surrogacy is illegal in Canada.

This summer’s Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage is vastly expanding an already robust surrogate mother market in the U.S., as male same-sex couples seek to have children, the CBCN said. In addition, paid agents are targeting wealthy women in perfect health who don’t want to go through the body changes that pregnancy involves.

Time Magazine has declared pregnancy “One of the Top 10 Chores to Outsource” in America.

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