Hon. Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor, The State of New York
Albany, NY 12224
Dear Governor Cuomo:
Please tell us it’s not true.
Please tell us you’re not planning to overturn your father’s ban on the manufacturing and sale of children in New York.
Your father’s Task Force on Life and the Law ruled that commercial gestational surrogacy, “could not be distinguished from the sale of children and that it placed children at significant risk of harm.”
Now we learn that you may be encouraging that very same Task Force on Life and the Law to legalize paid surrogacy in New York.
It has to be a mistake: Surely you don’t believe that the manufacture and sale of children has become morally permissible in the intervening years or that placing children “at significant risk of harm” is now okay.
There’s a reason Canada and many European countries banned paid surrogacy. It commoditizes children and it exploits low-income women. Indeed, the European Parliament stated in a resolution that surrogacy and egg sales constitute an “extreme form of exploitation of women.”
These women, many of them U.S. military wives who are specifically targeted by the multi-billion dollar surrogacy industry, are paid literally to rent their wombs — a commercial practice that time and again has resulted in physical, emotional and psychological harm. A repeat surrogate died last month in Idaho, along with the twins she was carrying for a Spanish couple, one day before she was scheduled to deliver by C-section. (Paid surrogacy is illegal in Spain.)
Mario Cuomo was a liberal lion, an eloquent spokesman for the rights of the poor. We ask you, Governor Cuomo, to please, please heed his wisdom by maintaining the prohibition of a practice in New York that is both cruel and exploitative.
You are a national leader with a proud legacy of defending the rights of women and children. We ask that you continue that leadership by keeping commercial surrogacy out of New York.
We are confident that you agree that the manufacture and sale of children, and the exploitation of women, is never okay.
Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.
Jennifer Lahl, R.N., M.A.
President, The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network