Thomas More Society Files United States Supreme Court Brief Detailing Dangers

Medical Experts Agree that Surrogacy is Harmful for Mothers and Children

Gestational surrogacy, when a woman carries a baby in her womb for others, is harmful to mothers and children, according to an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief filed by the Thomas More Society in the United States Supreme Court on August, 28, 2017 in Washington, DC. The filing was on behalf of five medical ethics advocacy organizations: the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists, the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the National Catholic Bioethics Center, the National Association of Catholic Nurses – U.S.A, and the Catholic Medical Association.

The brief, which was filed by the Thomas More Society in the California surrogacy dispute M.C. v. C.M., highlights an array of troubling medical issues brought about through surrogacy. The petitioning organizations describe a voluminous and ever-growing body of medical research showing that surrogacy poses serious medical risks to both surrogate mothers and the children they carry.  

Key concerns addressed in the filing include:

  • Surrogate birthmothers endure even greater physical burdens than pregnant women who conceive spontaneously.
  • Infants conceived by surrogacy are at higher risk of adverse outcomes and fetal anomalies than infants conceived spontaneously.
  • Multiple embryo transfers increase the risks to infants conceived by in-vitro fertilization.
  • Children conceived by in-vitro fertilization have higher rates of birth defects, genetic disorders, and other anomalies.
  • Severance of the maternal-child bond harms both mother and child.


Thomas More Society Special Counsel Sarah Pitlyk explained that, in addition to the physical health risks for the gestational mother and child, the practice of surrogacy has grave effects on society. “Surrogacy diminishes respect for motherhood and the unique mother-child bond, encourages exploitation of women, and it commodifies pregnancy and children,” she shared, adding that, “Surrogacy also weakens society’s natural abhorrence of eugenic abortion.”  

Pitlyk stated, “Any medical practice that exploits and commodifies vulnerable members of the human family is of concern to our client organizations and their membership. They share the common goal of ensuring that the medical profession promotes human dignity and adheres to its foundational commitment to ‘do no harm.’”   

Read the Amicus Curiae Brief submitted August 25, 2017, to the United States Supreme Court by the Thomas More Society on behalf of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists, the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the National Catholic Bioethics Center, the National Association of Catholic Nurses – U.S.A., and the Catholic Medical Association here.