Surrogate birth bill headed to Jindal

Legislation that would set up a legal framework for surrogate births in Louisiana advanced to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s desk Tuesday.

The state Senate voted 22-11 in favor of House Bill 187. The vote gave the bill final legislative passage, sending it to Jindal who can sign it, veto it or let it become law without his signature.

Last year, the governor vetoed legislation that would have authorized courts to approve gestational surrogacy contracts when a husband and wife encounter medical problems in producing a child. The governor cited the range of opposition to the legislation.

State Sen. Gary Smith, D-Norco, said this year’s proposal is a compromise version. Smith and his wife became parents to two children through a surrogate.

The bill now states that financial compensation other than medical, legal and travel expenses for the surrogate would be illegal. Money for lost wages would be allowed if the surrogate requires bed rest during the pregnancy.

The financial compensation component was a huge concern for organizations such as the Louisiana Family Forum, which characterizes itself as a traditional voice for families.

Only one legislator vocalized concerns Tuesday about the amended bill. State Sen. A.G. Crowe, R-Slidell, said the bill would encourage single women to get pregnant out of wedlock.

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