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regular-article-logo Sunday, 26 May 2024

Pope Francis calls for universal ban on 'despicable' practice of surrogate motherhood

Francis lamented that 2024 had dawned at a time in history in which peace is 'increasingly threatened, weakened and in some part lost'

AP/PTI Rome Published 09.01.24, 04:40 AM
Pope Francis delivers his yearly address to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See at the Vatican on Monday.

Pope Francis delivers his yearly address to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See at the Vatican on Monday. Twitter

Pope Francis called on Monday for a universal ban on the “despicable” practice of surrogate motherhood, as he included the “commercialisation” of pregnancy in an annual speech listing threats to global peace and human dignity.

In a foreign policy address to ambassadors accredited to the Holy See, Francis lamented that 2024 had dawned at a time in history in which peace is “increasingly threatened, weakened and in some part lost”.

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Citing Russia’s war in Ukraine, the Israel-Hamas war, migration, climate crises and the “immoral” production of nuclear and conventional weapons, Francis delivered a laundry list of the ills afflicting humanity and the violation of international humanitarian law that allows them.

But Francis also listed smaller-scale issues that he said were threats to peace and human dignity, including surrogacy. Francis said the life of the unborn child must be protected and not “suppressed or turned into an object of trafficking”.

“I consider despicable the practice of so-called surrogate motherhood, which represents a grave violation of the dignity of the woman and the child, based on the exploitation of situations of the mother’s material needs,” he said.

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