We are a loose network of concerned surrogate mother survivors, egg donor survivors, people born of surrogacy, and other advocates, activists, and women's rights leaders who've joined together to urge New York State to vote against the passage of legislation legalizing commercial surrogacy. We believe that the legalization of commercial surrogacy contracts in New York State will undermine women's health, rights and equality, and jeopardize the health and rights of any surrogate children they might bear.
New York is in jeopardy of being the next state to legalize reproductive commercial surrogacy ("RCS"). As part of Governor Cuomo's Executive Budget 2020-21 proposal released on January 21, 2020, the governor has submitted a proposal to legalize commercial surrogacy contracts in New York state (the "Cuomo Proposal"). New York State Senator Krueger has also introduced a proposed bill--Bill S07717--to legalize commercial surrogacy contracts in New York State (the "Krueger Proposal").
Last year, Governor Cuomo strongly supported the proposed Parent Child Security Act of 2019 the ("RCS bill") which was sponsored by New York State Senator Brad Hoylman and Assembly Member Amy Paulin, and which set forth a road map that would fundamentally compromise the well being and health of women who would serve as surrogates, as well as any children produced through RCS arrangements.
The RCS bill was roundly criticized by a number of New York State Assembly members when it was examined by them last spring, and failed to be enacted into law. The Cuomo Proposal still fails to address most of the concerns and objections raised last term by these Assembly members.
Although Senator Krueger opposed the RCS bill introduced last spring, she has now introduced a compromise bill in the form of the Krueger Proposal, which would also legalize commercial surrogacy contracts in New York State, but with more safeguards in place. While the Krueger Proposal attempts to address a number of the harms left unaddressed in the Cuomo Proposal, it still falls far short of what is needed to protect the health and well being of women and children involved in commercial surrogacy transactions. The lives of potentially thousands of women who might serve as surrogate mothers, as well as any children resulting from surrogacy arrangements, would remain at profound risk if either the Cuomo Proposal or the Krueger Proposal is passed into law.
With so many lives at risk of harm, it is critically important that New York State lawmakers--and all New Yorkers--understand both the provisions of the Cuomo Proposal and the Krueger Proposal, and the profound health risks to women and children that either of these legislative proposals would entail. There are fundamental human rights issues at stake that also deserve recognition.
In 1998, the late Governor Mario Cuomo founded a commission of experts--the New York State Task Force on Life and Law--to consider the merits of legalizing commercial surrogacy in New York State. The resulting report produced by this commission unanimously recommended that public policy should prohibit commercial surrogate parenting, because of its pervasive harm to the women whose bodies would be used and to the children they would bear. In a courageous display of progressive leadership, which kept New York State in the vanguard of states protecting the fundamental rights of women and children, New York State legislators enacted legislation outlawing commercial surrogacy contracts in their state. We urge New York State's current representatives to continue to uphold this progressive agenda, and condemn both the Cuomo Proposal and the Krueger Proposal.
We also urge you to join us in our efforts to ensure that New York State upholds all of its promises to improve women's health, to eliminate maternal mortality, and to protect their rights. Enactment of either the Cuomo Proposal or the Krueger Proposal would deeply endanger our being able to reaching these goals.