Politics

Michigan Bishops Slam Gov. Whitmer’s Approval of Compensated Surrogacy

The Michigan Catholic Conference has blasted a move by Governor Gretchen Whitmer to lift a ban on “compensated surrogacy” in the state, insisting that it will exploit poor and vulnerable women.

On Monday, Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed bills repealing Michigan’s prohibition of compensated surrogacy agreements, meaning that women can now be hired to carry a pregnancy and deliver a child for another family.

The new legislation presents grave concerns that include “protecting vulnerable women from exploitation and human trafficking, along with how the practice minimizes the dignity of motherhood and childbirth into a sale and delivery mechanism for the gain of others,” the Michigan Catholic Conference said in a statement.

Michigan Catholic Conference president Paul Long underscored the inherent dignity and worth of every child, but warned that the change in Michigan law will allow for those with resources to obtain a child “at the expense of women in financial need.”

“For-profit surrogacy contracts that pay females for the use of their reproductive means violate the inherent dignity of women and unethically allow children to be the subject of a contract,” Long stated.

Moreover, the practice of surrogacy “undermines the significant prenatal bond formed between a child and the mother who nurtured him or her through birth,” he said.

The new legislation will end Michigan’s current prohibition on compensated surrogacy contracts and “create a new, unregulated industry in Michigan that will result in the advertising, recruiting, and targeting of women to become paid egg donors and surrogates,” the Michigan Catholic Conference noted.

Michigan will likely experience a “surge in surrogacy agencies and attorneys whose work is built around negotiating contracts between couples or individuals with means and vulnerable, cash-strapped young women for the conception, birth, and forfeit of a child,” the group added.

Even the European Union has deemed that surrogacy “undermines the human dignity of the woman since her body and its reproductive functions are used as a commodity,” the text states, in reference to the EU’s prohibition of the practice.

There is a “societal cost to compensated, for-profit surrogacy,” Long said. “With the law requiring surrogates to have previously given birth to a child, young or single moms — likely those with small children of their own — will be targeted for the use of their body and enticed with money needed to provide for their children.”

The Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in the state.



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