Professor Judith Daar quoted in Washington Post story on issues of surrogacy and abortion

Washington Post, January 8, 2016

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Professor Judith Daar was quoted in a Washington Post article about a surrogate mother who was asked to abort one of her triplets.

Judith Daar, chairman of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine Ethics Committee, said that there are thousands of surrogacies each year and that “the vast majority experience no glitches.”

“The fact that we’re seeing these cases now should not be taken as a sign that surrogacy has gone awry,” she told The Post.

Daar said that although most surrogacy agreements contain “abortion clauses,” in which a parent can request a reduction for the health and safety of the surrogate as well as the fetuses, the procedure is not really enforceable.

Daar said legal experts “can feel very comfortable in saying no — a court would not order a surrogate to have a procedure she did not consent to or that she was opposed to.” In addition, she said, it would be unlikely for a California court to grant parental rights to a surrogate.

But what’s particularly notable, she said, is Cook’s request for protection against a future lawsuit. “Would she be responsible for damages?” Daar said. “That’s less clear, and that has not really been discussed by the court. It might take the remedies question to a new level.”

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