The following comes from a January 12 Catholic News Agency article by Kevin Jones:

Surrogate pregnancy is back in the news with two high profile cases where two different surrogate mothers of triplets rejected requests to have abortions. And one organization is responding by saying the practice is so unethical it should be banned.

“The problems with surrogacy aren’t limited just to here in the U.S. – they’re universal,” said Christopher White, director of research and education at the California-based Center for Bioethics and Culture.

White’s organization advocates for a complete ban on surrogacy. He said surrogacy “commodifies human life” and exploits women, especially those from a low socio-economic status.

His comments come after two surrogate mothers spoke out against abortion requests from their babies’ biological parents.

California resident Melissa Cook, 47, has filed a lawsuit in a Los Angeles court against her state’s surrogacy law. She charged the law violates her constitutional rights.

She had agreed to be a surrogate for a 50-year-old man in Georgia. She is now 23 weeks pregnant with three boys. According to Cook’s lawsuit, filed Jan. 4, the man asked her to undergo “selective reduction” and abort one of the babies. The lawsuit claims he cited concerns about his finances and the health of the babies.

“I am pro-life and I am not having an abortion,” Cook said, according to legal documents.

“I no longer view surrogacy arrangements in the same favorable light I once did,” she told the Washington Post. “I have a deep empathy for men who want children. However, I now think that the basic concept of surrogacy arrangements must be re-examined, scrutinized and reconsidered.”

Another California woman, Brittneyrose Torres, is a surrogate about 17 weeks into her pregnancy. She told the New York Post her surrogacy contract paid $25,000 for carrying one child and an extra $5,000 for carrying two or more children. The 26-year-old woman was implanted with a male and a female embryo. The male embryo split into twins.

The biological parents then asked her to abort the unborn girl about 12 weeks into her pregnancy.

“I told her I couldn’t abort one of the children,” she said. “I could not emotionally and physically do that at nearly 13 weeks. I believe it will be killing this baby.”

For surrogacy critics like White, there are hopes the latest stories will spark action.

“We’re hoping that legislators and the general public alike will take a serious look at this practice and the harms involved,” he said.