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LA must avoid endorsing surrogacy by its regulation
In the years since former Gov. Bobby Jindal vetoed bills that would allow the state to enforce surrogacy contracts, the case against them still remains in the current incarnation of the notion.
HB 1102 by state Rep. Stuart Bishop largely tracks the language of the 2014 bill vetoed by Jindal. It would give state backing to the contracts, justiciable in state courts. The practice goes on legally in Louisiana, but if one party alleges breach no judicial remedy currently exists.
The bill provides one, but the merit of that framework does not obviate its disqualification as meritorious public policy. Rather, its basic concept makes it unsuitable for that produces two deleterious impacts on society.
First, surrogacy devalues the institution of marriage. Entering into matrimony conveys several benefits, but foremost among them it produces children into an optimal environment for their guidance as moral beings. While not all single-man-single-woman couplings can produce living children because of biological imperfections or aging, and in other instances such pairs may choose not to reproduce, the active, intimate physical involvement of the two in the process, from moment of conception to birth, together strengthens both the capacity of the family to provide beneficial childrearing and the bonds of the two involved. Farming out the act frays that connection and reduces the utility of subsequent raising of the child and also dilutes the sanctity of the relationship between the two.
For couples where the female has physical impediments to the extent that alternative treatments still will not allow her to give birth to a living child, they may adopt or in stay childless such as in the instance of older couples and thereby serve as role models of love and fidelity for those couples capable of having children. They must understand that God’s plan may involve this role for them while others can go forth and multiply fruitfully (although sometimes God does spring a surprise on those pairings thought barren). Keep in mind that if they deem such moral considerations trivial, nothing prevents them from entering into a surrogacy compact.
On this account, increasingly state involvement would act counterproductively given the recent judicial fiat that alters the concept of marriage away from occurring between a single man and a single woman. As marriage no longer must aid the state in self-perpetuation, government has no reason to regulate it and promote it as the state does currently in that the act now conveys special privileges to those who do not return any benefit to the state by entering into marriage, either as models for child-rearing or in producing children for their rearing. Further regulation in the form of surrogacy contracts governing married individuals heads in the opposite direction of more regulation affecting matrimony, rather than less.
However, the second negative consideration attached to the idea behind the bill bears more serious import. Simply, surrogacy procedures may use multiple embryos, thus causing their destruction by unnatural and artificial means. Putting human life at risk like this makes the practice morally objectionable. Individuals may wish to make such moral decisions on their own, but the state should not encourage such acts by giving an imprimatur to these by providing a legal structure to encourage the practice.
For these noxious reasons, any surrogacy bill never constitutes good public policy. This 2016 version has gotten out of its House committee, so plenty of opportunities this session exist for policy-makers to take the wise step of preventing this measure from becoming law.
Posted by Jeff Sadow at 09:35