SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Lawmakers are set to take up a bill tomorrow that would ban commercial surrogacy in South Dakota. In a procedural move, the bill was tabled from Tuesday to Thursday. Supporters of the measure say it will protect children and surrogates.
House Bill 1096 aims to ban commercial surrogacy contracts and charge brokers such as agencies who are facilitating the process with a misdemeanor.
“This bill would effectively shut the door on all surrogacy, the way the language is written, it’s not carefully drafted,” attorney, Emille Gehling said.
Emilee Gehling is an attorney focused on gestational surrogacy and adoption. She went to Pierre with several surrogates to advocate against the bill. She says the measure will hurt the people of South Dakota.
“People will look to Craigslist, Facebook, kind of the back alleyways of finding a surrogate and going through the process, and they won’t have the guidance from people who know what they are doing to prevent the pitfalls,” Gehling said.
One representative filed an amendment that would take the bill to a summer study session. That’s something Gehling says could be beneficial.
“It would allow enough time to consider the potential good, the potential bad, it can pull everyone into the room and really come out with a smart and comprehensive regulation,” Gehlinf said.
The bill’s sponsor says he’s okay with a summer study, but wants to see his bill passed first.