CONCERNED WOMEN FOR AMERICA OF WASHINGTON
MARCH 17, 2011
PRAYER AND ACTION
Dear CWA of Washington Members,
Tuesday I attended the hearing in Olympia for the two bills we are still opposing: HB 1649 and HB 1267. While there was minimal debate about the first bill, I am happy to report that we filled up one hearing room, and the overflow was sent to a second room. We had excellent testimony from citizens opposed to HB 1267 which would expand the rights of domestic partners and other couples related to parentage. This bill was presented as simply making it easier for infertile couples (homosexual couples are included in this category) to become parents through surrogacy contracts. However, the bill is extremely complicated and would have multiple legal, cultural and social ramifications, as was aptly testified by the opposition during the hearing.
Please continue to pray that HB 1649 and HB 1267 will be defeated in their current committee. It is also time AGAIN for concerned citizens to take action and contact their state senators! I was told specifically by a legislator that they need citizens to bombard their state senators with opposition to this bill for the next two weeks. We are counting on you, CWA members, to do so. You may call the legislative hotline (1-800-562-6000) to leave a message or you can contact your legislator’s office directly; telephone numbers and e-mail addresses are available on the Washington State Legislature home page under “Find Your Legislator” in the left hand column: http://www.leg.wa.gov/pages/home.aspx. Be courteous, be succinct, be passionate! Please encourage your friends and church and Bible study members to make those contacts too!
In our written testimony, CWA focused on two concerns: gender neutralization and commercialization of children and women. As stated in previous action alerts, this bill attacks the foundational concepts of family and marriage and will further erode the unique and live-giving relationship between male and female.
As was made plain by opponents to HB 1267, we are not necessarily opposed to surrogacy or to compensating women for the medical costs associated with being a surrogate, but monetary incentives are illegal for many reasons, one being that the sale of all human body parts (kidneys, bone marrow, embryos) is illegal in accordance with FDA regulations. While Washington law actually declares that it is unlawful to purchase a minor child, HB 1267 allows an exception when a child is the result of a paid contract. Although children born of surrogate contracts qualify as adopted children by at least one, if not both, of the paying “parents”, this procedure is exempted from adoption regulations. For the first time in our state, HB 1267 would make it legal to rent or lease a woman’s body for nine months of pregnancy without regulations or oversight. The surrogate mother has the right to abort the child during the pregnancy, but at birth the woman loses all legal rights to the child, and the child is handed over to the purchasers.
Isn’t the bond between a mother and her child the most intimate relationship of all human relationships? Abortion has already demeaned motherhood so much, why would we add paid surrogacy with its absolute severing of the mother-child bond at birth? Why on earth would we allow and legalize the emotional desires of one special interest group to exploit another special interest group, in this case vulnerable women and their children?
Modern technology has definitely lead us into some confusing legal and moral debates. While many of us are aware of the wonder of in-vitro procedures that enable infertile married couples to have children, this same technology has blurred the lines between natural and artificial reproduction and caused many of us to wonder where we need to draw the lines and how far we are willing to proceed into this brave new world. This bill will affect all children and all parents in terms of determining who and when and how we become families. Where do we draw the line in this brave new world? CWA of Washington draws it here and opposes HB 1267.
Attached is Maria Lancaster’s testimony about HB 1267. Maria is a CWA member and Prayer/Action Leader who has been very involved with the snowflake baby issues.
We appeal to you to pray about this issue, decide for yourself and then contact your state senator within the next few days. Please stand in the cultural gap and defend God’s plan for the human family: father, mother and their children, whether natural or adopted.
If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Romans 12:18
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21
CWA of Washington