Louisiana is about to welcome a terrible industry into our state and a culture that treats women as breeders, completely disregarding the importance of mother-child attachments in utero, during delivery and nursing.

The main supporters of the bill claim they have addressed the concerns of the opposition and taken care of the power imbalance between surrogates and commissioning parents by adding language that (hardly) punishes intended parents for forcing a surrogate to abort a baby should, for example, the product not meet their quality standards.

Yet the proponents have repeatedly used their power and legal astuteness to silence and censor opposing voices. Most recently, they gave opposition less than 18 hours (minus sleep) to organize, prepare and travel to Baton Rouge to testify at the Senate hearing committee. Their behavior proves that sophisticated people will exploit weaker individuals to get what they want.

The infertility industry is not interested in solving infertility. They earn high incomes by using legal force to break natural bonds. The consequences of surrogacy include serious health risks to the surrogate mother (from the Food and Drug Administration-unapproved drugs to risks from multiples), to eugenics, systematic abortion, human trafficking and broken maternal-child bonds.

Infertility is heartbreaking, but we must consider responsibly to what lengths we are willing to go in order to “solve” unfortunate circumstances.

Most people are totally unaware of the medical risks to the birth mother and children. Surrogate mothers are at significantly higher risk of pre-eclampsia, hypertension, anemia, fluid overload, hemorrhage and heart failure. She is much more likely to experience complicated deliveries and need a hysterectomy.

The costs of medical interventions can become astronomical — into the hundreds of thousands. And who do you think ends up paying for these costs? Either insurance companies or the state. In most cases, it’s taxpayers, because the most typical profile of a surrogate is a military wife.

We need real solutions to infertility. In the case of surrogacy, the ends do not justify the means.

Vote no on House Bill 1102: Write your senator at reproductivetrafficking.org/action.

Alana Newman

director, Coalition Against Reproductive Trafficking

Lake Charles