Is there a “right” to surrogacy?

But fertility treatment is one thing, and “surrogacy” is another. The Huffington Post reports:

Senate Republicans will vote this week to confirm a lifetime federal judge who claimed that fertility treatments and surrogacy have “grave effects on society, including diminished respect for motherhood and the unique mother-child bond; exploitation of women; commodification of gestation and of children themselves; and weakening of appropriate social mores against eugenic abortion.”

Sarah Pitlyk, President Donald Trump’s nominee to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, argued those points in opposing a California statute that protects the right to assisted reproductive technology like in vitro fertilization, or IVF, and gestational surrogacy.

Pitlyk, who is special counsel to the Thomas More Society, a conservative, anti-abortion law firm based in Chicago, went on to say in a 2017 interview with the National Catholic Register that “surrogacy is harmful to mothers and children, so it’s a practice society should not be enforcing.”

But there are issues about surrogacy. Here’s the BBC just last April for instance:

On top of child welfare concerns, there are also examples of surrogate mothers being exploited by agents and kept in inhumane conditions.

Financially and socially vulnerable women can be targets for surrogacy recruitment, attracted by the sums of money on offer. A surrogate in Ukraine, for example, can earn up to $20,000 (£15,507) – more than eight times the average yearly income.

However, there have been reports of poor treatment of surrogate mothers, with some agencies refusing to pay surrogates if they do not obey strict requirements or if they miscarry.

Exploitation concerns have led to many countries shutting down their previously booming surrogacy industries, while last year the UN warned that “commercial surrogacy… usually amounts to the sale of children”.

Pitlyk sounds like a terrible nominee, but reservations about the surrogacy industry are not the same as anti-abortion fanaticism.

H/t Sackbut

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