Louisiana Right to Life Opposes Surrogacy

Louisiana Right to Life believes firmly that every human life, no matter how it is conceived, has a right to their life. We see no reasonable point in the continuum of a human being’s existence where value can arbitrarily be stripped from a person.  In 2013 the State Legislature of Louisiana approved the creation of avenues to facilitate the destruction of young human lives through its approval of gestational surrogacy contracts. Fortunately Governor Bobby Jindal vetoed SB 162 and prevented an additional means of destroying life at its very beginning. By authorizing this statutory scheme, the State would have allowed many couples to go down a dangerous and life-destroying path. Women, particularly those that are young and poor, would have been made vulnerable to exploitation as surrogates. 

LARTL recognizes the struggle and pain that couples endure when they are unable to conceive and give birth to children through natural means.  We do not question the worthwhile intention of couples considering gestational surrogacy.  In the midst of that noble desire to become parents, couples may consider hiring a woman (surrogate) to carry a child. Although this idea may seem like a reasonable solution, it sadly starts a process that overlooks the destructive consequences of IVF and the potential for abortion.
Louisiana Right to Life is concerned about the lives sacrificed in order to accomplish the goal of IVF and gestational surrogacy.  The ends cannot justify the means, even if the end is as beautiful as a baby.  Our concern with gestational surrogacy does not deal with the children that are born from surrogate mothers that we see in photos after birth. The child created through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and born through gestational surrogacy is equally as valuable as any other human being. 

However, there are many unborn babies that are sacrificed for the sake of the healthy children that are born from surrogacy in addition to the countless embryos that are frozen or destroyed.

  • Sacrifice of “Other” Embryos: In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a necessary process to bring about the goals of gestational surrogacy.  IVF requires the sacrifice of human embryos for the intended goal of giving birth to children.
    • Extra Embryos Fertilized: In IVF, embryos have to be fertilized in a petri dish prior to implantation in the surrogate mother.  Because the success rate of implantation with these embryos is anywhere from 20% to 47% , many embryos will be fertilized and created. 
    • Implantation Results in Destruction of Embryos: After the embryos are created, several embryos are implanted at one time.  Some embryos may implant and survive, while others will die. 
    • Frozen Embryos Face Uncertain Fate: If the first implantation is successful, the extra embryos will be cryogenically frozen, placing these human lives in an uncertain future. 
    • Repeat If Necessary: If the first implantation is unsuccessful, the extra embryos will be put to the same test as before until success is achieved.
  • Selective Abortion If “Too Successful”: If the implantation is highly successful, multiple embryos can develop. Whether the physician considers the pregnancy “high risk” or the couple does want multiple children (or more than one baby or multiple babies), selective abortion is standard practice where one or more of the unborn children are aborted to enhance the development of the desired baby.
    • Process of Reduction: The unborn babies that are identified for “reduction”  are given a shot of potassium chloride. The baby is killed by the poison and then removed from the surrogate mother’s womb. For example, it is typical for quads (four babies) to be “reduced” to two or even one child.
  • Potential Fetal Defect and Abortion: IVF is linked to a higher incident of children with the potential for birth defects. When these potential birth defects are identified in the womb, abortion is unfortunately a typical outcome.
  • Surrogates Can Choose or Be Encouraged to Abort : Proponents of surrogacy say that no surrogate can be forced to have an abortion and that the intended parents are required to accept the child regardless of problems. While this may be true, it ignores the stark reality that some surrogates have no problem aborting unborn children if the intended parents ask her to follow the contractual agreement the parties have all agreed upon and for which the surrogate received payment. In fact, some surrogates will decide to abort without the permission of the parents.
  • Commodification of Women: In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate, or the “oven” as described by some, are treated merely as a means to an end.  As has been discussed by other groups, gestational surrogacy equates the woman’s ability to give birth to a service that can be bought or sold on the market.

Louisiana Right to Life maintains that the governmental regulation of gestational surrogacy will open the door to the destruction of more human embryos and a higher occurrence of abortion in Louisiana. However, we should never create life to destroy it.  

To read Governor Jindal’s statement supporting his decision to veto the Louisiana State Legislatures creation of surrogacy contracts click here.

"2009 Clinic Summary Report". Society for Reproductive Medicine. Retrieved 14 July 2011.