Feminists, children of surrogate mothers and biomedical ethicists united to send a clear message to a Minnesota State Legislature commission studying surrogacy: The practice turns people into products.
In a July 19 hearing that focused on the possible health and psychological effects on surrogate mothers and children born of surrogacy, the commission also raised the question of abortion. For surrogacy opponents, abortion’s role in surrogacy contracts highlights how this form of third-party reproduction commodifies women and children.
“The foremost goal of public policy should be to protect vulnerable people from exploitation and commercial commodification. Above all, that’s what we hope this commission will do. We do not create public policy that assumes best-case scenarios. Rather, we need public policy in Minnesota that protects people against worst-case scenarios,” said Kathryn Mollen, policy and outreach coordinator for the Minnesota Catholic Conference.
MCC backed legislation passed earlier this year to establish the Legislative Commission on Surrogacy, which is charged with developing public policy recommendations on surrogacy, when a woman contracts to become pregnant and gestate a child to be raised by someone else. Minnesota law currently does not recognize surrogacy, meaning current in-state arrangements navigate a tenuous landscape.