House committee advances surrogacy bill

PIERRE, S.D. (KJJQ) – A South Dakota House committee has advanced a bill that would criminalize agents who facilitate commercial surrogate pregnancies in the state.

The House Judiciary Committee passed the bill 11-1.

The proposed law would make acting as a surrogacy agent a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.

The bill exempts “altruistic” surrogate pregnancies — those done, without profit — and allows for the surrogate and child’s healthcare costs to be covered.

Representative Jon Hansen of Dell Rapids is the bill’s prime sponsor.

Emily Gehling (Gay-ling) is co-founder of Dakota Surrogacy in Sioux Falls — the only such agency in the state. She says the surrogacy they facilitate does not make a commodity of anyone.

Representative Scyller Borglum of Rapid City voted for the measure but has a concern.

The measure now moves to the full House.