Pope Francis Calls for a Global Ban on Surrogacy

By: Georgia | Published: Jan 20, 2024

Pope Francis has called for a universal ban on the practice of surrogacy, which he described as “despicable.” His comments came during his annual address focusing on global peace and human dignity.

In his “state of the world” address to ambassadors at the Holy See, he emphasized the importance of peace and the safeguarding of human life.

The Pope's Assessment of 2024's Global Challenges

The Daily Mail reports that in his address, Pope Francis paints a concerning picture of the world in 2024, suggesting a decline in global peace. He specifically highlighted the need to protect fetuses, urging a worldwide ban on surrogacy.

Pope Francis is seated while reading from a document, dressed in his white papal attire, in a hall at the Vatican. To his left, a seated clergy member in black and magenta attire listens attentively, and to his right stands a Swiss Guard in traditional blue, orange, and red uniform with a black helmet adorned with a red plume

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He stated that unborn children should not be “suppressed or turned into an object of trafficking.”

A Strong Stance Against Surrogate Motherhood

According to The Daily Mail, Pope Francis expressed his strong opposition to surrogate motherhood, categorizing it as a serious violation of human and women’s rights.

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He focused on the exploitation of women in need, stating, “I consider despicable the practice of so-called surrogate motherhood, which represents a grave violation of the dignity of the woman and the child.”

Vatican's View on Gay People and Surrogacy

Despite Pope Francis’ strict stance on surrogacy, the Vatican doctrine allows baptism for children born through surrogacy to LGBTQ+ parents, as reported by The Daily Mail.

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Additionally, Francis recently approved a policy change allowing priests to bless same-sex couples. He emphasized that recipients of God’s love and mercy should not undergo “an exhaustive moral analysis.”

Pope Francis’ Historical Opposition to Surrogacy

Pope Francis has consistently opposed surrogacy, calling it an “inhuman” practice in June 2022.

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CNN reveals that he has been vocal in the Catholic Church’s opposition to what he refers to as an “inhuman and increasingly widespread practice of the ‘rented uterus,’ in which women, almost always poor women, are exploited and children treated as commodities.”

Diverse Legal Landscape of Surrogacy Worldwide

The legal status of surrogacy varies across the globe.

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The Daily Mail details that countries like Spain and Italy outright ban the practice, while “altruistic” surrogacy is legal in nations including Belgium, the Netherlands, the U.K., Canada, Brazil, and Colombia. In the United States, the legality of surrogacy differs from state to state.


Addressing a Range of Global Issues

In addition to surrogacy, The Daily Mail reveals that Pope Francis’ address covered several critical global issues, such as the war in Ukraine, the Israel-Hamas conflict, climate change, and nuclear armament.

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He highlighted these as major challenges facing humanity, challenging the increasing violations of international humanitarian law.


Pope Francis Criticizes Russia’s Actions in Ukraine

Pope Francis, in a departure from his usual diplomatic language, directly criticized Russia’s military actions in Ukraine.

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The New York Times states that he explicitly referred to the conflict as a “large-scale war waged by the Russian Federation against Ukraine.” This direct naming of Russia is an unusual move for Francis, who generally avoids assigning public blame to Moscow when expressing support for the Ukrainian people.


The Pope's Balanced View on Israel-Hamas Conflict

Pope Francis also used his address to discuss the conflict between Israel and Hamas in a nuanced manner, as reported by The New York Times.

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In his speech, he criticized the attack by Hamas on Israel “and every instance of terrorism and extremism” and also acknowledged the “strong Israeli military response,” expressing concern about the conflict’s potential to escalate in the Middle East, calling for cease-fires in various regions, including Lebanon.


Emphasizing the Impact of War on Civilians

The Daily Mail reveals that Pope Francis also highlighted the tragic impact of war on civilians.

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He remarked, “The events in Ukraine and Gaza are clear proof of this. We must not forget that grave violations of international humanitarian law are war crimes, and that it is not sufficient to point them out, but also necessary to prevent them.”


Linking Surrogacy to a 'Culture of Death'

According to CNN, Pope Francis connected surrogacy to a broader “culture of death” prevalent in Western societies, critiquing the commercialization of life.

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He expressed concern about new life becoming “subject to a commercial contract.”


Pope's Approach to Life and Dignity

In his address, Pope Francis reiterated his dedication to advocating for life and dignity on various fronts, including surrogacy and global conflicts.

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He called for the international community to uphold and enforce humanitarian law as a means to protect human dignity in times of conflict, as reported by CNN.