For Immediate Release
Contact: Bill O’Reilly, 212-396-9117

Where are U.S Candidates on this Human Rights Issue?

San Francisco — December 17, 2015: With news breaking today that the European Parliament officially condemned the practice of surrogacy, calling it an exploitation of vulnerable women, the President of the Center for Bioethics and Culture Network (CBC) today is demanding that all candidates for the U.S. presidency take a position on this controversial human rights issue.

In condemning the practice, The European Parliament in Brussels says surrogacy “undermines the human dignity of the woman since her body and its reproductive functions are used as a commodity.”  European leaders also consider it an urgent human rights matter and say gestational surrogacy “involves reproductive exploitation and use of the human body for financial or other gain,” especially the bodies “of vulnerable women in developing countries.”

“Are women’s lives less important in the United States than other parts of the world?” asked CBC President Jennifer Lahl, a former pediatric critical care nurse. “Most countries throughout the world understand that commercial surrogacy industry exploits women for financial gain and that this is a human rights issue of global proportions. No potential leader of the Free World can ignore one of the most important human rights issues of our time.”

“Any serious candidate for the U.S. presidency must take a position,” Lahl added.

Despite a global movement where countries such as Canada, India, Cambodia, Mexico, and many European countries have shown leadership by either banning or restricting the practice — some have even classified it as human trafficking — the United States has lagged and been all but silent on the issue.

Recent California cases where two surrogates were, in separate matters, each pressured to abort a  fetus because the would-be parents didn’t want them, even though they were by all accounts healthy, exemplify the moral, ethical, and social problems caused by allowing the growth of what amounts to nothing less than a human breeding industry in this country.  It’s conservatively a $3.5 billion business and estimates have it growing at a rate of nearly 15 percent by 2018.

As of now, there are no federal laws on commercial surrogacy in the U.S., and state laws are a confusing mix of inconsistent, perplexing, and contradictory rules that all are loaded with loopholes that are easy to circumvent.

“The massive growth of third party reproductive technology is forcing issues like this upon us,” said Lahl, “yet our elected leaders and those seeking public office are burying their heads in the sand and looking away in order to avoid controversy.”

Read the European Parliament’s Report, called Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2014 and the European Union’s policy on the matter.