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The Holy See organizes a meeting aimed at the abolition of surrogacy

The Undersecretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life moderates a meeting on surrogacy at the United Nations in Geneva, focusing on the need for international planning to protect women and children from all forms of exploitation.

June 20, 2024

Gabriella Gambino, Undersecretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life

VATICAN: Surrogacy represents “a serious violation of the dignity and rights of women and children,” and the international community “must therefore feel called to reflect on the urgency of an absolute ban on all forms of surrogacy,” as Pope Francis said in his speech evoked. his speech to the Diplomatic Corps in January this year. In fact, a global consensus is emerging on ‘a strongly negative view of surrogacy’, ‘even from different political, ethical and religious positions’. These are the conclusions of Gabriella Gambino, Undersecretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, who moderated discussions at the June 18 event at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. The one-day meeting was entitled “At What Cost? Towards the Abolition of Surrogacy: Preventing the Exploitation and Commodification of Women and Children”, and was organized by the Permanent Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva and the “Caritas in Veritate Foundation.

‘Procreative tourism’
The purpose of the meeting, Gabriella Gambino explained in her introduction, was “to reflect on the urgency of an international response to the phenomenon of surrogacy.” Aware of the fact that ‘reproductive tourism’ generated by states’ differing regulations on surrogacy ‘still causes the transnational exploitation of women and children through this practice’, she said it is necessary ‘to of a common community’. commitment to ensure the universal protection of the dignity and fundamental human rights of those affected.”

Right to dignity
The Vatican Undersecretary quoted the recent declaration Dignitas infinita of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Holy See (April 2024), which emphasizes that every child has the right “to have a fully human origin and (…) to receive the gift of life that expresses both the dignity of the giver and the recipient.” She pointed out that “not all methods of reproduction are legal, and there is no strictly legal ‘right to have a child’ that can justify any form of reproduction.” on the one hand, to the ‘commodification and exploitation of women and children’. It is also “a form of establishing fundamental human relationships that will forever impact the identity and lives of the woman and child.”

Expert input
Following the introduction of Gabriella Gambino, Eugenia Roccella, Italy’s Minister of Family, Birth Rates and Equal Opportunities, took the floor to examine the issue of surrogacy from the perspective of Italian law. Olivia Maurel, spokesperson for Casablanca Declaration and leader of the Campaign for the Universal Abolition of Surrogacy, was conceived and born in Kentucky, USA, through a surrogate mother, and subsequently spoke, analyzing the issue from the perspective of children’s rights. The third speaker was journalist and author Eva Maria Bachinger, who co-founded the ‘Stop Surrogacy’ initiative in Vienna in 2015 and is the author of three books on the subject, assessing the issue of surrogacy from the perspective of women’s rights. And finally, Bettina Roska, Legal Officer of ADF International in Geneva, Switzerland, analyzed the topic in its legal dimensions by showing the international legal landscape and highlighting gaps and challenges.–Vatican News

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