Kansas tries to ban surrogacy

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With the introduction of Senate Bill 302 in the capital Wednesday to ban all surrogacy in Kansas, one senator effectively shut down one of the few avenues for many people to ever achieve the ability to have children.

While the bill is still in its infancy and we are sure there will be much discussion and changes to it, we must ask why this bill was introduced in the first place.  Has there been an onslaught of surrogacy cases recently that have turned negative?  Was there damage done to the fabric of the American family by having surrogacy in Kansas?

On Monday and Tuesday of this week, the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee will be hearing arguments for and against the bill that was copied and pasted from the law currently in place in the District of Columbia, where, admittedly, they will be softening the law due to opposition.

The bill outlines financial and potential jail time for those found to have broken the law (as written now) and not much else is present in the bill.  While the verbiage is not extensive, the intent is clear: no one will be able to achieve parenthood with the help of a surrogate in the state of Kansas.

While this may not affect a large population of Washburn students now, there are several on campus that can and will be affected by this bill being put into law in the future. Becoming pregnant can be quite difficult and there is a large (and growing) number of men and women who are finding it challenging to become parents. With the rise in infertility, many are looking to outside sources to be able to reproduce.

One of our staff members on the Washburn Review is intent on becoming a parent by using a surrogate, and the ban on surrogacy will mean that she will not be able to be the parent that she so desperately wants to be. What we don’t understand is why this form of pregnancy is being banned when there are so many families and single people that are in need of this service.

Much of this bill’s introduction has to do with same-sex marriages and parenting that has become the focus of the media lately. Especially with the judgment of the current same-sex child support case in Topeka, much of the conservative side of the political powers feel that the brakes need to be applied to the ability for people who normally would not be able to achieve parenthood.

What some people forget is that those that actively try to become parents through infertility treatments and surrogacy truly want to be parents and will do and spend almost anything to achieve that goal.  When you have young mothers abandoning newborns at hospitals or children being locked up, beaten and killed by their parents that achieved those pregnancies the “normal” way, what does it say about our culture when that is acceptable but for those that have to work harder and in a different manner than “normal” are being penalized or banned from becoming parents?

The ban on surrogacy is one step further into the lives of people that the government does not need to take.  We do believe there needs to be guidelines and precautions put in place for those that decide to take the surrogacy route to protect themselves and the surrogate, but an outright ban means that there will be a lot of out-of-state pregnancies.  By regulating instead of banning, the field remains open to people who want to achieve a family without the fear of jail time or fines.