Statement from CBC President Jennifer Lahl on Melissa Cook’s Landmark Surrogacy Case

by The Center for Bioethics and Culture on January 5, 2016


Contact: Bill O’Reilly, 212-396-9117

San Francisco–January 5, 2016 . . . Melissa Cook, a 47-year-old surrogate mother, garnered international attention when she refused to abort one of three fetuses she was carrying for a Georgia man, even though the intended father threatened to financially ruin her. Now, she has filed suit claiming the California surrogacy law is unconstitutional.

“Melissa Cook may finally be the turning point in the third party reproduction age. This is a landmark case. Women across America have been bullied, intimidated, exploited, and used by the commercial surrogacy industry that preys on the poor for profit. Now that industry has gone too far by trying to force women to abort healthy babies solely for financial benefit,” said Jennifer Lahl, a former pediatric nurse and President of the Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. “Through this case and others, Americans are quickly coming to understand why Canada and so many European, Asian, and African countries have banned paid surrogacy. It turns women into faceless breeders and children into made-to-order products. This must stop here.”

The New York Post today reported that Ms. Cook has filed a lawsuit claiming that California’s surrogacy law is unconstitutional. In the complaint, Cook claims that the contract with the biological father and the California surrogate law it relies on violate due-process and equal-protection rights under the US Constitution.


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