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Kansas lawmakers analyze bill banning surrogate pregnancies

Jan. 27, 2014 at 4:00 PM

TOPEKA, Kan., Jan. 27 (UPI) -- The Kansas Senate is considering a bill that would criminalize surrogate parenting contracts in the state, officials said.

The Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee Monday began a two-day analysis of Senate Bill 302, which would subject any person or entity involved in the formation of surrogate parenting contracts in Kansas to a $10,000 fine and a year in prison, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

"Surrogate parenting contracts are hereby declared to be against public policy and such contracts shall be void and unenforceable," states the bill which was proposed by Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, chairwoman of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee.

Pilcher-Cook, a Republican representing Johnson County, has previously expressed concern over in-vitro fertilization, in which eggs are fertilized outside the body and then implanted in the uterus by a doctor. Unused fertilized eggs are then either frozen for future use or discarded.

In 2013, Pilcher-Cook said she believed human life existed when an egg was fertilized, and the "value of a human being doesn't depend on their location."

Meanwhile, Sen. David Haley, a Kansas City, Kan., Democrat, said he doesn't believe the Senate committee is the proper forum for discussing contract issues.

"This would be a matter better taken up by the judiciary committee," Haley said. "I would not want it in a committee that really doesn't deal with contract law."

Advocates both for and against the use of surrogate mothers were invited to speak at the committee hearings Monday and Tuesday.

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