A universal ban on surrogacy was demanded by Pope Francis on Monday, calling the practice of a woman bearing another person’s child “deplorable”.
The 87-year-old pontiff described it as a “grave violation of the dignity of the woman and the child” in his New Year’s address to ambassadors at the Vatican.
According to AFP, in a speech dominated by calls for an end to conflicts around the world, the head of the worldwide Catholic Church said: “The path to peace calls for respect for life.”
This began “with the life of the unborn child in the mother´s womb, which cannot be suppressed or turned into an object of trafficking”, he said.
“In this regard, I deem deplorable 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.”
“A child is always a gift and never the basis of a commercial contract. Consequently, I express my hope for an effort by the international community to prohibit this practice universally.”
The pope denounced surrogacy as an “inhuman” practice in June 2022.
“Altruistic” surrogacy, in which a woman has a child on behalf of another woman or couple in exchange for no financial compensation other than living expenses, is permitted in Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil, and Colombia.
Whereas, certain states in the United States allow commercial surrogacy.