'I don’t pay attention to exceptions': Candace Owens claims surrogacy is 'deeply demonic'

'I don’t pay attention to exceptions': Candace Owens claims surrogacy is 'deeply demonic'

The Daily Wire host Candace Owens fired off several false claims during a segment of her talk show Thursday focusing on the impact of surrogacy.

Owens began her rant saying, "When you consider surrogacy, especially surrogacy for the sake of surrogacy, there is something demonic about it. Right? When you are doing it not because you can't have a child, right? Even worse. Right?"

She continued, "How are we allowing this to take place? How are people comfortable with this? Of course, I know that there are always exceptions to this and sometimes there are circumstances where there is a couple that has been trying to have children for 10 years, something is wrong with the woman's body and she agrees with her sister to give birth. And her sister, of course, is both the aunt and the person that gave birth to the child and it's forever in her life."

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The right-wing host concluded, "And, of course, in the comments one of you guys is going to give me one of these exceptions. But I don't pay attention to exceptions, I pay attention to rules. And there is something deeply demonic about surrogacy."

The National Institute of Health reports:

The ever-rising prevalence of infertility world over has lead to advancement of assisted reproductive techniques (ART). Herein, surrogacy comes as an alternative when the infertile woman or couple is not able to reproduce. Surrogacy is an arrangement where a surrogate mother bears and delivers a child for another couple or person. In gestational surrogacy, an embryo, which is fertilized by in vitro fertilization, is implanted into the uterus of the surrogate mother who carries and delivers the baby. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate mother is impregnated with the sperms of the intended father artificially, thus making her both genetic and gestational mother. Surrogacy may be commercial or altruistic, depending upon whether the surrogate receives financial reward for her pregnancy.

Owens is correct about "exceptions" that often lead to couples choosing the surrogate route — but not about characterizing the practice as "demonic."

In 2020, Christina Caron of the The New York Times reported on the debate around New York's legislation legalizing paid surrogacy.

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She wrote, "For supporters, it was a no-brainer. Embracing surrogacy was beneficial to infertile couples and meaningful to the L.G.B.T. community, they argued. And it is already permitted in 47 other states. Why should New York be an outlier?"

Caron emphasized that "prominent academics and doctors, who insisted the bill did not do enough to protect the health and rights of surrogates," fueled a delay on the bill "in the Assembly."

Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie said in a statement, "We must ensure that the health and welfare of women who enter into these arrangements are protected and that reproductive surrogacy does not become commercialized. I look forward to continuing this conversation in the coming months with our members and interested parties to develop a solution that works for everyone."

Owens' rhetoric aligns with The Heritage Foundation's, which makes clear its belief that surrogacy poses dangers to women, highlighting on its website the fact some women "had been trafficked, rendered infertile, or even died as a result of" the practice.

However, for people like Jessie Lescarbeau, a nurse practitioner, who "agreed to be a surrogate for a gay male couple who were close friends," surrogacy can be a "a great experience."

Furthermore, the right-wing host could have also highlighted the fact that — regarding a more traditional pregnancy route — "Each year in the United States, hundreds of people die during pregnancy or in the year after," noting, "Thousands more have unexpected outcomes of labor and delivery with serious short- or long-term health consequences. Every pregnancy-related death is tragic, especially because more than 80% of pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S. are preventable," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports.

Furthermore, the CDC notes, "Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than White women," adding, "Multiple factors contribute to these disparities, such as variation in quality healthcare, underlying chronic conditions, structural racism, and implicit bias. Social determinants of health prevent many people from racial and ethnic minority groups from having fair opportunities for economic, physical, and emotional health."

The GOPer, though, is a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump — and a party — which remains "silent" on the need for more affordable healthcare and even against teaching the reality of structural racism in schools.

Watch the video at Media Matters for America or at this link.

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The National Institute of Health's report is here. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention's is here. The New York Times' is here (subscription required).

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