Controversial Belgian transgender senator and gynaecologist specialising in surrogacy Petra De Sutter (in the picture) will try again, on 21 September in Paris, to get her pro-surrogacy report through to the Committee on Social Affairs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
“Once again, against any form of parliamentary transparency, the debates will be on camera, and the project is kept a secret,” is the accuse of the association “No Maternity Traffic” who wrote a letter to French newspaper Le Figaro.
The report was firstly rejected on 15 March 2016. Council of Europe’s Social Affairs and Health Committee voted against the draft report on surrogacy 16 vote against and 15 votes in favour. The meeting of the Committee took place in Paris.
The rapporteur was the Belgian senator Petra De Sutter who is accused to face a conflict of interest because she has already openly confirmed her involvement in surrogacy practices in in the University Hospital Ghent where she works. Ms. De Sutter also collaborates with a Clinic of India “Seeds of Innocence”which openly uses surrogacy.
107 957 European citizens had signed an appeal to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) for banning the practice of surrogacy. This petition was filed to the Presidency of the Council of Europe on March 10, 2016.
Also the European Parliament already approved a resolution condemning all form of surrogacy on December, 17th.
The new position of De Sutter who decided to condemn only commercial surrogacy should be considered a trap, according to Gregor Puppinck, Ludovine de la Rochère , and Caroline Roux (No Maternity Traffic) who wrote an op-ed for Le Figaro:
The strong opposition to which the rapporteur De Sutter is confronted seems to have led her to adopting a withdrawal position: renounce to explicitly demand legalisation of surrogacy, and condemning only commercial surrogacy while invoking “the interest of the child”. This approach, while an apparent consensus, is a trap.
The trap lies on a largely fictitious opposition between altruistic commercial surrogacies: the former would be good and the latter evil. From altruistic, the surrogacy would become commercial should the amount of money given to the surrogate mother be superior to “reasonable fees” caused by the surrogacy. Yet these costs include food, housing, loss of revenue, etc., as well as the compensation for “inconvenience of being pregnant”. No need to say that, in most cases, these reasonable fees are a disguised remuneration.
“I regret that Ms. De Sutter didn’t resign after the report was rejected the first time. The Social Affairs Committee will debate a new draft resolution written by Ms. De Sutter in September. I hope we will reject it once again. It is important that MPs who support moral values and are against surrogacy, in particular the commercial surrogacy, will be there and vote against“. Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Valeriu Ghiletchi said for The European Post.
“We need to protect the rights of both women and children – which is in this case only possible by banning all forms of surrogacy. We should not open the dangerous door to maternity trafficking, wherein children are treated as a commodity and babies are traded,” commented Leo Van Doesburg, Director for EU Affairs of the European Christian Political Movement.