Pope Francis on Monday called for the practice of surrogate motherhood to be banned worldwide.
“The path to peace demands respect for life, for every human life, starting with that of the unborn child in its mother’s womb, which cannot be suppressed, nor become an object of commodification,” Francis said during a New Year audience with the members of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See.
“I consider the practice of so-called surrogate motherhood, which seriously damages the dignity of the woman and the child, to be deplorable.
“It is based on the exploitation of a situation of material need of the mother.
“A child is always a gift and never the object of a contract.
“Therefore, I hope for a commitment from the international community to ban this practice universally.
“At every moment of its existence, human life must be preserved and protected, while I note, with regret, the persistent spread of a culture of death, especially in the West, which, in the name of a feigned pity, discards children, the elderly and the sick”.
Surrogacy is a hot topic in Italy.
Premier Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy (FdI) party has presented a bill to make surrogacy, which is illegal in Italy but has been used by many gay Italians to become parents with surrogate mothers abroad, a “universal crime”.
This means that it would be punishable by law even if committed abroad, but only for Italian citizens.
The government has also told city councils to stop registering the children of same-sex couples using a procedure based on the transcription into Italian civic registers of the foreign birth certificates of children conceived via surrogacy or assisted fertility, which is only available to heterosexual couples in Italy, citing a ruling by the Court of Cassation, Italy’s highest court.