Is there anything ethically wrong with surrogate motherhood? Many people confess their inability to articulate their opposition in rational terms, yet they feel uneasy. The practice arouses negative emotions ranging from mild distaste to revulsion. Others say there is nothing wrong, in principle, with surrogate motherhood. It is a way of helping infertile women fulfill a fundamental human longing and, therefore, should be permitted and even facilitated. Many who are not fundamentally opposed to surrogacy nonetheless maintain that the practice ought to be regulated, in order to prevent abuses and to provide a mechanism for resolving conflicts that may develop in particular cases.
Surrogacy arrangements have been condemned by Roman Catholic spokesmen, in a legal brief by a conference of bishops in New Jersey, and by the Vatican in a statement issued by the Pope in March 1987. Feminists have denounced the practice, using rhetoric rather than argument, with the slogan woman as vessel. A group of wormen who agreed to bear children under surrogacy contracts has convened to speak out against such arrangements.