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Pope calls for global ban on surrogacy, calls process 'deplorable,' equates to human trafficking

"I express my hope for an effort by the international community to prohibit this practice universally," Francis said.

Published: January 8, 2024 11:15am

Updated: January 8, 2024 11:48am

Pope Francis on Monday slammed surrogacy as a "deplorable" practice comparable to human trafficking, and he called for a global ban on it. 

"The path to peace calls for respect for life, for every human life, starting with the life of the unborn child in the mother’s womb, which cannot be suppressed or turned into an object of trafficking," Francis told members of the Vatican Diplomatic Corps in an annual address Monday.

"In this regard, I deem deplorable the practice of so-called surrogate motherhood, which represents a grave violation of the dignity of the woman and the child, based on the exploitation of situations of the mother’s material needs," he also said. 

Typically performed under a legal agreement, surrogacy is where a woman agrees to deliver and give birth on behalf of another person or couple, who will then become the child's parent or parents. 

However, Francis stressed: "A child is always a gift and never the basis of a commercial contract. Consequently, I express my hope for an effort by the international community to prohibit this practice universally."

Francis listed surrogacy alongside conflicts and problems throughout the world, including the Ukraine-Russia and Israel-Gaza wars as well as climate change, among other things. 

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