Gov. Cuomo, local doctor push to end surrogacy ban in NY

Posted: Updated:
SCARSDALE -

Lawmakers are in discussions to legalize paid surrogacy statewide, a practice that is only disallowed in a few states.

Dr. Rachel McConnell at Columbia University's Fertility Center in Scarsdale sees more than a dozen patients struggling with fertility everyday. For some, surrogacy is the only option.

But McConnell is not able to service the patients she sees because New York is one of three states that bans surrogacy -- when prospective parents pay a woman to carry their child conceived through in vitro fertilization.

Critics say the current law hurts both couples struggling with fertilization and same-sex couple who want to have kids.

Last week, the state Senate passed a bill to legalize paid surrogacy. It has the support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who sees it as a step forward for LGBTQ equality.

Opposition has come from an unlikely alliance -- feminist and Catholics. The latter says surrogacy exploits and dehumanizes woman.

McConnell says some of her patients wish commercial surrogacy was an option in New York.

"Its heartbreaking how many times that I am telling them they have to go somewhere else for services that we could provide, but its illegal," says McConnell.

The bill is now in the state Assembly. Lawmakers have until June 19, when the current legislative session ends, to make a decision.

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