In a resolute New Year’s address at the Vatican, Pope Francis, the 87-year-old pontiff, once again condemned the practice of surrogacy, calling for an international prohibition. Terming it a “grave violation of the dignity of the woman and the child,” the pontiff emphasized the need for global action to prevent the exploitation of women and the commodification of children.
During his address to diplomats, the spiritual leader of the Catholic Church declared, “The path to peace requires reverence for life,” underscoring the significance of safeguarding the unborn child’s life within the mother’s womb, stating it must not be reduced to a mere commodity or subject to trafficking.
Pope Francis specifically targeted surrogate motherhood, denouncing it as a practice founded on the exploitation of vulnerable circumstances and material needs of mothers. He stressed, “A child is always a gift and never the basis of a commercial contract,” reiterating his stance against the commercialization of human life.
Expressing his hope for a concerted effort by the international community, the Pope urged for the universal prohibition of surrogacy, affirming that it should not be endorsed or permitted under any circumstances.
This is not the first instance of Pope Francis speaking out against surrogacy. In June 2022, he previously labeled the practice as “inhuman,” reflecting his strong opposition to the process.
Surrogacy, both altruistic and commercial, remains a legally contentious issue globally. Altruistic surrogacy, where a woman carries a baby for another individual or couple without financial gain except for necessary expenses, is legalized in several countries, including Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK, Canada, Brazil, and Colombia.
In contrast, some states in the United States allow commercial surrogacy, where monetary transactions take place for the surrogacy arrangement.
The Pope’s call for a global ban on surrogacy adds fuel to an ongoing ethical debate on the nature of reproductive technologies and the boundaries of commodifying human life.
While his stance aligns with the teachings of the Catholic Church, the Pope’s appeal is expected to spark discussions and deliberations among policymakers, ethicists, and societies worldwide, as the controversy surrounding surrogacy persists.
The Vatican’s strong position against surrogacy underscores the significance of ethical considerations and human dignity in the realm of reproductive practices, igniting renewed scrutiny and dialogue on this complex issue across nations and cultures.
Sources By Agencies