The Democratic-led state Senate was expected to pass a bill that would legalize gestational surrogacy in New York.
But with the bill’s chances in the Assembly in doubt, TV personality and Bravo host Andy Cohen appeared in Albany to boost the bill’s chances.
Cohen, whose 4-month-old son Benjamin was born via surrogacy in California, appeared at two separate news conferences with Governor Andrew Cuomo and later with Senate Democrats.
Cohen will also appear in a Capital Tonight interview at 7 p.m. on Spectrum News.
“Pass the law that protects women and then convince the other 47 states to do it; it’s not that women aren’t going to be surrogates, they are, it’s just is it New Jersey, or is it here, or is it California?” Cuomo said.
“So it makes no sense. It also makes no sense since we spent months in this room arguing for a women’s right under Roe v. Wade, which said a women’s body a women’s choice. And we argued with many people who said, “well certain women aren’t prepared to consent and certain women should have to consult with their parents first, and they have to notify their parents first.” And we said no, a women’s right governs.”
Cuomo at the news conference specifically pointed to the opposition in the state Assembly to the measure, which would allow LGBTQ or infertile couples to pay a surrogate.
“I respect my colleagues in the Assembly who have differences of opinion,” he said. “We have differences of opinion all the time, but I do not understand the assembly members who oppose this. I have respect for Assembly Members Glick, and Weinstein and Didi Barrett, but I just don’t see the possible rational.”
But there is opposition to the measure, from women’s groups as well as the Catholic Church.
In a widely circulated letter at the Capitol on Tuesday, feminist icon Gloria Steinem announced her opposition to the proposal, concerned the move would exploit women.
“Under this bill, women in economic need become commercialized vessels for rent, and the fetuses they carry become the property of others,” she wrote in the letter.
She added the bill carries a “big risk of human trafficking” of women.
The bill’s sponsors insisted Steinem was wrong, pointing to the protections included in the language, including a “surrogates bill of rights.”
“I’m the proud parent of two daughters born through gestational surrogacy,” said Sen. Brad Hoylman. “Unfortunately, under the current law, my husband and I had to travel 3,000 miles to California to build our family because New York makes surrogate agreements illegal. It’s time we fix that for LGBTQ families and any intended parent grappling with infertility.”