A member of the Russian Duma (parliament) has called for commercial surrogacy to be banned. Russia is one of the few countries in the world where the practice is legal.
According to the Moscow Times, Yelena Mizulina, the head of the Family, Women and Children Committee, declared that paying women to bear other people’s children is an abhorrent practice that clashes with traditional Russian family values. "If we allow single men and women to resort to surrogate motherhood, we are negating everything our society demands."
In another interview, with Izvestia, Ms Mizulina said that children from surrogate arrangements are often abandoned by both the gestational mother and the contracting parents.
“Surrogate mothers have practically no rights in the current Russian reality. Their health is not protected legally, pregnancy leave is still an open question and it is not even clear who should be taking it – the surrogate mother or the biological one.”
Ms Mizulina is a Deputy with A Just Russia, a centre-left party which aims at a new socialism for the 21st century. Last year, according to Russia Today, she described surrogacy and abortions as threats, not just to Russia, but to all humanity, which are leading to its extinction.
Surrogate mothers gave birth to about 1,000 children in 2012. In one high-profile case last year, 65-year-old pop diva Alla Pugachyova and her 37-year-old husband engaged a surrogate mother who gave birth to twins.
Under current regulations, the women must be between 20 and 35, have at least one child of their own and have passed a medical check-up. A number of surrogacy agencies have sprung up to meet the demand.
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