Pushing For A Ban

A new coalition including surrogate mothers, feminists, and critics of biotechnology will push for a federal law banning contracts that require surrogate mothers to give up their babies. The National Coalition Against Surrogacy also will provide free legal advice to surrogate mothers.

The organization will receive initial funding from the Foundation on Economic Trends, headed by Jeremy Rifkin. He called surrogacy arrangements a “modified form of slavery” that violates contract law and the principles of the U.S. Constitution.

At a Washington news conference, Rifkin was joined by three surrogate mothers, including Mary Beth Whitehead, who lost custody of her daughter in the Baby M trial. “Don’t let this happen anymore; it’s not right,” Whitehead said. “I feel in my heart the only crime we [surrogate mothers] committed was loving our babies. That’s it. We haven’t done anything wrong.”

Feminist author Gena Corea described the rise of a “surrogacy industry,” stressing concerns that surrogacy could be coupled with new reproductive techniques to allow couples to “order” babies with preselected characteristics.


A First-Time Decline

Federal health officials reported a decrease in the number of abortions for the first time since record keeping began in 1969.

A report released by the Federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says 1,268,987 abortions were performed in 1983, the latest year for which statistics are available. That figure was down 2.7 percent from the number of abortions reported in 1982. However, the health agency noted that the number of reported abortions was probably lower than the number actually ...

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