News (World)

Pope Francis calls for a universal ban on the “despicable” practice of surrogacy

Pope Francis smiles and waves to his congregants.
Pope Francis Photo: Shutterstock

Only weeks after he approved blessing same-sex couples, Pope Francis has spoken out against the practice of surrogacy, likening it to human trafficking.

“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,” he said in a recent foreign policy address, according to the Associated Press.

Pope Francis then called for a universal ban on surrogacy, saying a child should “never be the basis of a commercial contract.” He has previously referred to surrogacy as “uterus for rent.”

The practice of surrogacy has long been controversial. Some argue it exploits women while others believe women deserve the power and agency to decide how they want to use their bodies, especially when strong contracts are in place to protect both the parents and the surrogate. In the United States, the surrogacy industry is highly regulated, whereas in some other countries, like Italy, the practice is banned altogether.

One three-time surrogate recently told LGBTQ Nation that it’s one of the best things she’s ever done, so much so that she even founded her own surrogacy agency.

“The day the twins were born was like the greatest day of my life,” said Surrogacy Is founder Sunshine Hanson. “I wasn’t expecting that rush of pride and accomplishment and love. There’s so much love that came from it. I was like, oh I’m definitely going to do this again.

A universal ban on surrogacy would no doubt disproportionately affect gay male couples who have virtually no other way to produce biological children. Pope Francis’s comments will likely further stoke disagreement among LGBTQ+ advocates about whether or not the Pope is actually bringing the Church further toward total LGBTQ+ inclusion.

Many advocates celebrated after he approved blessing same-sex couples, but others were less than enthused. One gay man, Matt Cain, wrote an op-ed blasting Pope Francis for “designing” to bless same-sex couples, saying his decision is “not a blessing, it’s an insult.”

“You can stick your blessing, Pope Francis,” Cain declared. “It’s a fig leaf, a PR exercise, a means of laundering your prejudice to make it seem like a step towards acceptance.”

Don't forget to share:

Support vital LGBTQ+ journalism

Reader contributions help keep LGBTQ Nation free, so that queer people get the news they need, with stories that mainstream media often leaves out. Can you contribute today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated

The reparations & LGBTQ+ rights movements are aligned. Let’s harness the power of a united front.

Previous article

Biden administration calls out Burundi’s president for saying gay people should be stoned to death

Next article