Lawmaker behind surrogate bill on his personal connection - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Lawmaker behind surrogate bill on his personal connection

Posted: Updated:
  • HealthMore>>

  • People seek out health info when famous person dies

    People seek out health info when famous person dies

    WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of th...More >>
    WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of th...More >>
  • Spouse's sunny outlook may be good for your health

    Spouse's sunny outlook may be good for your health

    Marriage vows often include the promise to stick together for better or for worse, and research now suggests that when it comes to your health, having an optimistic spouse is better.More >>
    Marriage vows often include the promise to stick together for better or for worse, and research now suggests that when it comes to your health, having an optimistic spouse is better.More >>
  • Mental illness not a driving force behind crime

    Mental illness not a driving force behind crime

    TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Less than 10 percent of crimes committed by mentally ill people are directly linked to the symptoms of their disorders, a new study shows. "When we hear about crimes committed by people with mental illness, they tend to be big headline-making crimes, so they get stuck in people's heads," said study author Jillian Peterson, a psychology professor at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn. "The vast majority of people with mental illness a...More >>
    TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Less than 10 percent of crimes committed by mentally ill people are directly linked to the symptoms of their disorders, a new study shows. "When we hear about crimes committed by people with mental illness, they tend to be big headline-making crimes, so they get stuck in people's heads," said study author Jillian Peterson, a psychology professor at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn. "The vast majority of people with mental illness a...More >>

One of the most controversial bills this legislative session has passed out of the House and Senate and could legislate the womb of surrogates in Louisiana. It would change who can become a surrogate and who can use a surrogate.

In Louisiana, surrogacy contracts are not legally enforceable. That is why state Sen. Gary Smith, D-St. Charles, and his wife used out-of-state surrogates to become parents.     

His experience led him to write Senate Bill 162. 

"There are no laws in books that regulate surrogates," he said, "so what this is doing is putting some rules and regulations for gestation surrogacy."

Smith's proposed law affects all involved with a surrogacy pregnancy. The House gave final backing to the bill in an 87-8 vote Sunday and it is now on Gov. Bobby Jindal's desk - where it is unknown if it will be signed.     

The fine print concerns Adrienne Critcher, the political director of People Acting for Change and Equality or PACE.

"There are guidelines that are needed, but it's really not well thought out," she said.

The surrogate would have to live in Louisiana, be at least 25 years old, and not be a first-time mother. As for the parents, they must be able to provide their own genetic material to make a baby, ruling out infertile couples. Finally, the couple must be married. In Louisiana, only a man and woman can get married. 

"That's why this bill is alarming to my organization, it is discriminating against gay people and having a family," said Critcher.

Smith admits the legislation has some of the strictest surrogacy regulations in the country.

"It is very tightly drawn, but I think its in line with our conservative natures here in Louisiana," Smith said.

PACE is not the only organization against the bill. The conservative Louisiana Family Forum, the Center for Medical Ethics and the National Organization of Women oppose it, but for ethical reasons.      

Now, it is up to the governor to decide the future of surrogacy in Louisiana.

It would also be illegal to pay the surrogate. Medical expenses and mental health counseling services involving the pregnancy and birth would be covered, as well as living expenses for up to 60 days and legal fees.

KSLA originally reported this story. Click here to read that report.

Copyright KPLC 2013. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow