TOPEKA, Kan. -- Kansas state senators heard arguments on Monday about a bill that would make surrogate pregnancy contracts illegal in the Sunflower State, but the measure faces a difficult road.
The bill would make it illegal to pay or compensate women to be surrogate mothers, which is a woman who carries another couple's child to term. The proposal would also void any existing surrogacy contacts.
Johnson County Republican Senator Mary Pilcher-Cook introduced the Senate bill to make surrogate parenting contracts illegal and unenforceable. The bill would also criminalize anyone involved in such contracts.
Pilcher-Cook told FOX 4 she was unavailable to comment, but in an email Pilcher-Cook wrote:
"One woman or one child exploited is one too many and we need to take a comprehensive view of the subject. Many times there are good intentions, but it is imperative we are fully informed about where this technology is taking us as a society."��
But an attorney FOX 4 spoke with says the bill, as broadly as it's written now, could also have some unintended consequences. Attorney Sandy Krigel has been involved with dozens of local surrogacy contracts.
"Most of these people have waited for years, if not decades to have children," he said.
Krigel said the bill is a fix to a problem that doesn't exist in Kansas.
"I don't know of a single instance in Kansas or Missouri where anybody has ever stepped forward and claimed that they've been exploited. I think that this would really limit individuals opportunities to grow their families," he said.
Krigel said the bill not only limits opportunities for couples where surrogacy is the only option, but he says as written, it could also stop artificial insemination between a husband and wife.
"I think the biggest impact would be on very traditional, husband and wife married couples," he said.
The measure apparently doesn't have the support of the senate leadership and that usually means a measure has little chance of coming to a vote.