Were there to be no support in the whole history of ethical and moral thought, were there no acknowledged confirmation from medical science, were the history of legal opinion to the contrary, we would still have to conclude on the basis of God's Holy Word that the unborn child is a person in the sight of God. He is protected by the sanctity of life graciously given to each individual by the Creator, Who alone places His image upon man and grants them any right to life which they have.
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
The Great Unaddressed Human Rights Issue of Our Day
after speaking before a sea of families in Rome about the dangers of
commercial surrogacy, an Italian reporter asked why I was being so vocal
in a country where it is already illegal.
Isn’t that like preaching to the choir, she wondered?
While the notion of speaking to hundreds of thousands of people who recently turned out to Family Day at the Circo Massimo,
an historic Roman arena popular for public events, could be construed
that way, the truth is, things are far more complicated than that.
though gestational surrogacy—where a woman is implanted with embryos
from other couples in order to give birth to a child unrelated to her—is
rightly banned all across Europe and parts of Asia, and even considered
to be human trafficking in some other countries, this abuse against
women and children will continue until we have a universal ban across
it stands, Europeans are navigating, if not circumventing, the loose
laws of surrogacy here in the United States. Many come to states all
across America such as California to hire women—paying surrogate mothers
anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000, and thousands more to lawyers and
placement agencies—to have their children.
It’s a sort of baby-making vacation, only the “tourists” aren’t giving birth.
of our porous borders and rules, the human breeding industry remains
one of the globe’s most pressing human rights issues. And it will
continue to be until U.S. lawmakers come to terms with the system they
are encouraging, if for no other reason than turning a blind eye to it.
my visit to Rome, I was welcomed at another conference in Paris,
France. But this one, organized by the country’s equivalent of its
radical left, sees surrogacy as an abuse of women. In fact, they don’t
really distinguish it from prostitution, another exploitation of women.
was struck by how two seemingly polar groups—conservatives in Italy and
liberals in France—could agree on an issue that’s getting such little
attention in the United States.
Even now, as the presidential campaign persists with 24-hour news coverage and daily polls analyzed ad infinitum,
there has been absolutely no mention of commercial surrogacy on the
campaign trail. Nothing from either party—not from liberal Democrats nor
from conservative Republicans, or anyone in between. Not even an
That in itself is a travesty, a downright injustice in a country that prides itself on being just, humane, and principled.
surrogacy industry often targets military wives, low-income women, and
those in need of money. Any way you view the issue, the abuse of women
and the lack of protections for children are of real concern.
it shows no signs of slowing. At $3.5 billion plus, commercial
surrogacy is growing at a rate of nearly 15 percent a year in the U.S.,
in part because other countries have shown leadership and banned the
practice. This system is easy to get around by crossing state lines—and a
reason why Europeans and other “tourists” come to our shores: to
purchase a baby.
When did children become a U.S. export? How could this be?
are no federal laws on commercial surrogacy in the U.S., and state laws
are a confusing mix of inconsistent and contradictory rules that are
loaded with loopholes. What’s also upsetting is that U.S. contract law
is actually being used to terminate healthy babies. It sounds absurd,
but it’s a reality as exemplified by recent cases involving two mothers
Where do the candidates stand on this human rights issue?
heard a lot on building walls, immigration, and making our nation safe.
But nothing about protecting women and children—or shutting down an
inhumane pipeline that persists.
fact that there is no national conversation is shameful in itself.
These issues transcend gender, race, and class. They can’t be ignored.
nations have shown true leadership on this issue. Canada, India,
Cambodia, and many European countries have either banned or restricted
the practice. A Mexican state legislature voted to close the door to
foreign couples and gay men looking to have a child by surrogacy while
simultaneously restricting options for Mexicans. The European Parliament
recently condemned the practice of surrogacy, calling it an
exploitation of vulnerable women.
Yet still nothing on the campaign trail? Candidates, let’s hear where you stand on this human rights issue.