Washington state could legalize commercial surrogacy, where the surrogate mother is compensated beyond medical expenses.
According to The Christian Post, children’s rights advocates say the proposal is “selling” babies.
Wednesday morning, the Washington state House of Representative passed the “Uniform Parentage Act.” House Democrats voted in favor of the act. Every Republican member opposed the bill.
"For House Republicans, this bill was a matter of conscience,'' said house member Liz Pike, according to Clark County Today.
"We all voted 'no' to protect the womb from being monetized and commercialized. This bill sets virtually no limits on the amount people will be able to sell or purchase a human baby for. I'm disgusted that such a bill would ever be considered let alone pass. What have we become as a state, selling human babies to the highest bidder? Is this who we are?"
The bill previously passed in the state Senate.
The act now heads to Democratic governor Jay Inslee, who is expected to sign the legislation.
Katy Faust, the head of children’s rights organization The Before Us testified in hearings against passage of the act.
"When I say that we have established a global marketplace for children, I am not exaggerating. That is exactly what this is," Faust told The Christian Post.
Faust said there are no limits on how many children can be procured through commercial surrogacy and no restrictions on if those surrogacy services can only extend to Washington state residents.
The vote denied a requirement of a screening process similar to adoption and also rejected the creation of a state-run database to track parents and limit births.
"In its current form, as it passed out of the House, the bill even permits convicted felons to purchase human babies,'' Pike said.
"What this bill actually does is establish that all it takes for [the state government] to decide that one gets full authority over a vulnerable baby is one's 'intent' to parent,” she said.
“It doesn't matter if you have any biological connection to the child at all. It doesn't matter how many adults, if one is single or married. If you intend to parent and create a contract and have the means to create a child through surrogacy or other reproductive technologies, we will give you our full authority."
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Publication date: March 2, 2018