NewsMar 05, 2018 by Alyssa Duvall
Commercial surrogacy, a practice children's rights advocates say is essentially "baby selling", is well on its way to being legalized in Washington State despite arguments from critics that the move could open up new avenues for child abuse. The "Uniform Parentage Act," passed the state House early Wednesday morning with every Democrat in favor and every Republican opposed. The state's Democratic governor, Jay Inslee, is expected to sign the bill into law.
"For House Republicans, this bill was a matter of conscience,'' Liz Pike, of the state's 18th house district, told 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," Pike continued. "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?"
Katy Faust, leader of children's rights organization Them Before Us testified against the legislation during hearings. "When I say that we have established a global marketplace for children, I am not exaggerating. That is exactly what this is," she said in a statement to the Christian Post.
"Once you legalize something and commercialize something, you're going to get more of it," Faust added. She also noted that bill contains no meaningful restrictions and will lead to economically disadvantaged and vulnerable women being exploited.
"As the bill stands," the Christian Post reports, "no limits are placed on how many children can be procured through surrogacy arrangements, no requirements exist saying that people intending to pay for surrogacy services must be residents of Washington state or American citizens, or even that the women must be inseminated in Washington. All it takes is one consultation that occurs on Washington soil and a contract can be legally enforced even if the individuals using the surrogate mother hail from nations where surrogacy is prohibited."
Amendments to the bill requiring all "intended parents" to be subject to the same screening procedures as adoptive parents and creating a database to track parents and limit the number of births were voted down.
"In its current form, as it passed out of the House, the bill even permits convicted felons to purchase human babies,'' Pike said.
"There was a host of amendments offered by my esteemed colleagues that would have put needed protections in the bill, but of course, the Democrats systematically rejected them all — one by one."
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