Letter to Governor Jindal on surrogacy debate

By Russell D. Moore
May 29, 2014

Russell D. Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, sent a letter May 29 to Governor Bobby Jindal on the debates surrounding gestational surrogacy in the state of Louisiana.

Below is a text of the letter sent to Governor Jindal.

Download a PDF of this letter on ERLC letterhead.

May 29, 2014

The Honorable Bobby Jindal
Office of the Governor
P. O. Box 94004
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70804

Dear Governor Jindal:

In recent days I have spoken with leaders in your administration about the importance of defending human dignity in all its forms, something that you have been diligent to do.

As you know, one important area in the realm of human dignity is the issue of gestational surrogacy. In previous comments you have made, I believe you are exactly right in stating “a state sanctioned regulatory structure for contracts pertaining to the birth of children has a profound impact on the traditional beginnings of the family.” I applauded your last veto on this issue, and I assume you maintain the same position.

Legislation seeking to codify gestational surrogacy, while presumably intended as a compassionate response to infertile couples, is bad for both women and children. Even altruistic surrogacy, which seems like a loving and sacrificial gift, still severs procreation from the one-flesh union. Surrogacy of all varieties goes further by treating women and children essentially as objects of commerce; ultimately, it exploits women’s bodies and children’s lives. This is not the place for laissez-faire bioethics.

As one who has personally grappled with the pain of infertility and miscarriages, I understand both the pain many couples are going through and also the need to think through these issues carefully. Beyond that, as one who has served as a pastor, I admit that the church has been too slow in grappling with infertility in a way that responds both to the longing of infertile couples and the far-reaching ethical implications of fast-changing technologies. One of my goals is to help change that.

I imagine that most infertile couples are just as we were—good, loving people who desperately want to share their lives and love with children. But this I know to be true: There are some things that shouldn’t be commodified, and a woman’s body is one of them.

As difficult questions come across your desk every day, I want to thank you for your administration’s efforts to value the dignity of human life in all its forms and for your concern to promote family stability and human flourishing.

Yours Sincerely,

Russell D. Moore, President
Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
of the Southern Baptist Convention

Download a PDF of this letter on ERLC letterhead.

Further Learning

Learn more about: Life, Reproductive Technology,

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