Michigan Dem Governor Revokes Ban on Paid Surrogacy

When a woman carries and gives birth to a baby for another person or couple, as defined by the Cleveland Clinic, she is engaging in surrogacy.

On Monday, Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan signed legislation lifting the prohibition on paid surrogacy in her state.

The Michigan Family Protection Act, a collection of bills Whitmer signed into law (House Bills 5207–5215), removes the state’s prohibition on “womb rentals,” which had existed since 1988.

Following the Alabama Supreme Court’s ruling that labeled frozen embryos as unborn fetuses under state law, the package also strengthens safeguards for in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Gestational surrogacy involves a woman becoming pregnant through assisted reproduction, usually in vitro fertilization (IVF), using eggs that are not her own; genetic surrogacy consists of a woman agreeing to be a surrogate using her eggs, typically through a process like artificial insemination.

The American Society of Reproductive Medicine reports that Michigan is the only state in America that has not decriminalized surrogacy.

Republicans in the Senate attempted to bring back the criminal penalties for surrogacy agreements involving minors or people with developmental disabilities, as they had under the previous legislation. In its ultimate form, the measure does stipulate that surrogates must be at least 21 years old, have a history of at least one prior childbirth, have consultations with mental and medical experts, and have their legal counsel.

Stories of parents purportedly forcing surrogates to terminate the pregnancy have made news recently due to the link between surrogacy and abortion.

According to surrogacy.com, intending parents may be required to undergo background checks by surrogacy organizations.

Women who are economically disadvantaged may be drawn to commercialized surrogacy, which differs from altruistic surrogacy. In altruistic surrogacy, the surrogate does not get compensation but has a stronger bond with the family. A surrogate mother may earn anywhere from $50,000 to $110,000.

Commercialized surrogacy relies on the commodification of women’s bodies, according to the National Organization for Women, a prominently pro-abortion organization.

The new surrogacy legislation will not be implemented until 90 days after the state legislature closes its term this year since the proposals failed to obtain two-thirds backing in the Senate.