“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things charity. ”
– Rupertus Meldenius , 17th Century German theologian
Louisiana Family Forum is 100% Pro-Life. Our mission, which is to provide a voice for traditional families, essentially rests upon a foundation that has as its cornerstone the Sanctity of ALL Human Life. Louisiana Family Forum asserts that the traditional family is God’s first institution and pre-exists the church, civil government and even civil society. We also believe that the family exists for the healthy nurture, protection and responsible integration of children into this world. These are our essentials and in these we are unified with other pro-life and pro-family groups in our state.
Yet, we oppose SB 162, “Gestational Surrogacy Contracts” by Sen. Gary Smith, first because while every child bears the image and likeness of God, not every life will be treated equally in the aftermath of this bill. Surrogacy inevitably involves the “Selective Destruction” of unnecessary human embryos (in utero).
Furthermore, “feared” fetal abnormalities will presume “a duty to abort” on the part of the birth mother. A healthy biological child is the desired outcome of a surrogacy contract. We have seen situations in which surrogate mothers are offered thousands of dollars to abort children who do not meet this expectation.
Louisiana Family Forum also holds that “commercial contracts” for pregnancy create a slippery slope which legally incentivizes the Commercial Surrogacy Industry to commodify the womb and catalog women. We believe that referring to a woman bearing a child as a “carrier” is demeaning and brings to mind a “brave new world” connotation.
Throughout Louisiana’s legal history, a woman who delivers a child is indeed presumed to be the mother of that child. In gestational surrogacy, that arrangement is turned inside out and upside down – now the woman who contributes her egg is considered the mother of the child. The birth-mother must necessarily pre-negotiate the “limits” of her parental rights and her legal access to the child. All of this is accomplished contractually and primarily for financial consideration long before the child is even conceived. Friends this arrangement is not about the needs of a child but about the needs of multiple sets of adults.
For decades America has experimented with disposable fatherhood, now in similar fashion, motherhood is being legally redefined as “carrier-hood.”
The Louisiana Family Forum understands that infertility and the inability to conceive and bear children can be devastating. However, Louisiana residents are currently at liberty to engage in surrogacy arrangements out of state or in-state by an informal agreement and without a drastic new policy that dramatically redefines the family. The ethical and moral dilemmas created by commercial contracts that require the rental of a womb make this bill morally questionable and potentially exploitative. Therefore, I must agree with Governor Christie’s veto message when he was presented with a similar bill in New Jersey:
“Permitting adults to contract with others regarding a child in such a manner unquestionably raises serious and significant issues. While some will applaud the freedom to explore these new, and sometimes necessary, arranged births, others will note the profound change in the traditional beginnings of a family that this bill would enact. I am not satisfied that these questions have been sufficiently studied by the Legislature at this time. Validating contracts for the birth of children is a step that cannot be taken without the most serious inquiry, reflection, and consensus. As those steps have not occurred, accordingly, I herewith return Senate Bill No.1599 (First Reprint) without my approval.”
– New Jersey Gov.Chris Christie’s Veto Message
Although SB 162 is nearly to the Governor’s desk, there is still one last chance to prevent its passage. Lawmakers in both the House and Senate will have one additional vote on this bill. LFF will urge a “NO” vote on SB 162 and will score the results. And, if necessary, we will also urge Gov. Bobby Jindal to veto this bill.