PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota lawmakers killed a bill that would ban commercial surrogacy in the state.
A motion to move House Bill 1096 to the 41st day narrowly passed through the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on a 4-3 vote Wednesday, Feb. 26.
Sen. Deb Soholt, R-Sioux Falls, acknowledged the potential for abuse in commercial surrogacy.
“Having nothing. . . that leaves our state vulnerable for not the best things to happen to our women and children,” Soholt said.
But because of confusing language in the bill, Soholt voted in favor of the motion to kill the bill.
“I do believe that there is the need for protection to enter into any kind of arrangement that has to do with gestational surrogacy,” Soholt said. “I cannot support the bill as it’s currently written because there are so many roads that we could go down that were not anticipated.”
According to the bill's text, “any broker who knowingly engages in, advertises services for, offers payment of money or other consideration for, profits from, solicits a woman for, or otherwise assists or participates in commercial surrogacy” would be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Rep. Jon Hansen, R-Dell Rapids, is the bill’s sponsor.
Sen. Wayne Steinhauer, R-Hartford, said that he had no doubt that opponents of the bill who testified Wednesday were a well-intended group who were looking out for what’s best for their children.
“We’re not finding fault with you, what we’re trying to do is set a policy for the state going forward," said Steinhauer, who voted against the motion to kill the bill.