Shocking Bill Passed Allowing Women to Sell Their Children

( – The Democrat-controlled Massachusetts House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed a law that would legalize selling children in the name of “parental equality.” The controversial bill has been blasted by critics, who have claimed that it would essentially legalize child trafficking and prostitution by turning childbearing into a source of income.

The H.4672 “Parentage Equality” bill argues that the eagerness to raise a child should be prioritized as a prerequisite for parenthood over biological or adoptive relationships. Terminology such as “father” or “mother” would be scrapped in favor of wording such as “genetic surrogate” or “person who gave birth” under the proposed bill. The change aims to ensure that LGBTQ couples are included and able to benefit under the Parentage Act.

Ethical concerns have long been raised about surrogacy, particularly the notion of commercial surrogacy. Few countries that legalized surrogacy allow commercial surrogacy, but several allow “altruistic surrogacy.” Dr J. Y. Lee of the University of Copenhagen argued that, with money taken out of the equation, only those looking to help others would volunteer to give them their child. Lee noted that India banned commercial surrogacy, having previously legalized the practice.

Other critics from both conservative and some feminist spheres have more harshly condemned the practice of surrogate pregnancy in general, arguing that it reduces women to the status of “breeders” and viewing the practice as nothing more than “womb-rental.” Though some feminists have stated that women have a choice to become a surrogate, others have argued that the practice commodifies the female body for the benefit of someone else.

The condemnation of the new Massachusetts bill by conservatives also highlights that the proposed change is at odds with federal law, which under Title 18 of the United States Code classifies the buying or selling of children as a grave offense. Under the federal law, such an offense could result in a life sentence.

Additional federal laws exist criminalizing the buying and selling of children in other contexts. The Parentage Act could bypass the legal requirement for paid-for surrogacy agreements to be legally recognized, provided that the surrogate mother is not legally recognized as the child’s parent.

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