Pope Francis has described surrogate motherhood as a “despicable” practice that should be universally banned for its “commercialization” of pregnancy.
The Catholic leader made the call during his foreign policy address to ambassadors accredited to the Holy See which traditionally serves as a lament for all the world’s conflicts and injustices.
An unborn child must not be “turned into an object of trafficking,” Francis said, adding. “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.”
A child, he said, should never be “the basis of a commercial contract,” and called for a global ban on surrogacy “to prohibit this practice universally.”
Francis has in the past called surrogacy “uterus for rent,” and some European countries prohibit it, including Spain and Italy.
While the catholic church opposes the practice, the Vatican’s doctrine office on church teaching has made clear that homosexual parents who resort to surrogacy can have their children baptized.
This comes weeks after the same office, with Francis’ explicit approval, allowed the blessing of same-sex couples.