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Pope Francis Is Right: Every Nation Should Ban The ‘Despicable’ Rent-A-Womb Industry

Pope Francis gives address Jan. 7, 2024
Image CreditEWTN/YouTube

Banning surrogacy on a global scale would protect the tiniest children and their mothers from having their bodies trafficked for money.


Pope Francis is not known for being the most conservative Roman Catholic pontiff. His recent condemnation of the international rent-a-womb industry, however, proves you don’t have to be a conservative or even religious powerhouse to agree that surrogacy is an evil practice that harms women and children.

“I consider despicable the practice of so-called surrogate motherhood, which represents a grave violation of the dignity of the woman and the child, based on the exploitation of situations of the mother’s material needs,” Francis declared during his annual address to Holy See ambassadors on Sunday. “A child is always a gift and never the basis of a commercial contract.”

Surrogacy is a growing multi-billion-dollar industry that spans dozens of countries, especially allowing wealthy people to profit from the bodies of the poor. Francis blamed this rise of womb rentals on the “continued spread of a culture of death.”

The “false compassion” gripping Western countries, Francis warned, “discards children, the elderly, and the sick” without regard for morality.

“At every moment of its existence, human life must be preserved and defended,” he said.

Turning human life into “an object of trafficking” is an injustice that good governments must prohibit, Francis declared.

“I express my hope for an effort by the international community to prohibit this practice universally,” he concluded.

Surrogacy is illegal in most of Western Europe and Italy, where the Vatican city-state resides, because it commodifies children and exploits women. In countries like the United States, however, renting wombs is a profitable part of the ever-growing assisted reproductive technology business. Thanks to a lack of regulation in some states, homosexuals who physically don’t have the parts to make a baby together are even demanding taxpayers fund the creation of motherless children for them.

[RELATED: World Seeks To Bypass Surrogacy Laws By Renting Wombs In War-Torn Ukraine]

As Federalist contributor and children’s rights activist Katy Faust noted in her “conservative, pro-life case against surrogacy,” the fertility business ensures any unvetted person who pays can get a baby grown by a non-related woman. This has allowed physically and mentally sick people to buy children, including pedophiles.

“Surrogacy is categorically child trafficking,” Faust wrote.

When trafficking in women’s reproductive capacities is legal, children are purposely bought and created to rip them away from their genetic mother, the woman who nurtured them in utero, or both. Oftentimes, surrogacy requires invitro fertilization, another practice scrutinized for a lack of ethics and morality. The vast majority of IVF-created embryos die.

Sometimes, the only reason a surrogate is hired is so a woman who wants to have a baby can avoid the pregnancy symptoms and body changes required for gestation.

Babies and their biological mothers form a unique and undeniable physical and emotional bond. Research shows that unborn babies and the women who carry them even exchange cells that can stay in their bodies for decades. Newborns are accustomed to their mother’s heartbeat, voice, rhythms, and smell. Living in close proximity for the better part of a year promotes a connection that, when severed, distresses babies and can alter their brain structure.

Similarly, the young, cash-strapped women recruited to gestate someone else’s baby for money have a “three-fold risk of developing hypertension and pre-eclampsia” and report feeling heightened anxiety after handing over the baby they nurtured for 40 weeks and risked their very lives to grow. Surrogates who lose their baby via miscarriage due to these increased risks or other trying factors report feeling incredible sadness for the loss of their baby’s life.

In some cases, extensive and manipulative contacts call for surrogates to undergo “selective reduction,” or the abortion of unwanted babies in the womb. One California surrogate was recently pressured by the gay men who hired her to end the life of the baby she carried due to her breast cancer diagnosis. Other paid breeders suddenly decide they want to keep the child they are contractually obligated to hand over, resulting in years-long heartbreak and legal battles.

Even “intended parents” suffer negative consequences of outsourcing reproduction, including struggling to connect with a child they didn’t create or carry. Children who are gestated and born to their married biological mother and father are far more likely to be healthier, safer, get a good education, and live above the poverty line. Children who are bought and ordered via the commercial fertility industry using purchased eggs, sperm, or womb time, however, suffer an automatic biological distance.

The only way to ensure unborn children are not bought and sold is by banning surrogacy and any adjacent assisted reproductive technology that puts what’s best for a child on the back burner to accommodate adults’ selfish desires.

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