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Press Release

Fertility Advisors Continues Advocacy With Third Day on Parliament Hill

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says it's time for society to study the issue of decriminalizing payment for surrogate mothers and sperm or egg donors. (Radio-Canada)



OTTOWA, Ontario - April 6, 2018 - (Newswire.com)

"I think this is something we need to be thinking about as a society, and when we see the bill I know we will be having a discussion about rights and responsibilities that we share as a society," Trudeau said. "And we will try to see how we can move forward in a reasonable manner."

Trudeau was referencing a planned private member's bill being put forward by Liberal MP Anthony Housefather. The bill, which Housefather plans to table in May, would decriminalize payments for surrogate moms and sperm or egg donors.

Canadians from every demographic and economic group could require a surrogate and/or gamete donor to build their family. Every Canadian should have the right and ability to have a family without fear of legal prosecution. This means that just to give one example, to even send flowers to a surrogate could expose intended parents (IPs) and agency staff to criminal liability and penalties.  Expenses meant to cover costs directly related to the pregnancy are a grey area, and currently, any perceived breach could result in the conviction of an indictable offense with a fine of up to $500,000, a jail sentence of up to 10 years, or both.

As the first and only subject of the RCMP criminal investigation under the AHRA, Leia Swanberg felt compelled to share her personal and professional experience with others as she endured a police raid, investigation, and prosecution. She hopes they will be compelled to introduce legislation, to decriminalize the current offenses in the AHRA so that countless other people no longer need to live in fear while pursuing their dreams of a family.

“I really hoped things would change following the investigation. I really hoped that despite everything that I went through – not to mention my staff and clients – that we would now finally have a movement to clarify such an imprecise law. Yet while there’s been a lot of discussion around amending the Act, there’s been little action to date. That’s why I, along with MP Anthony Housefather and more than a dozen other notable lawyers, doctors and activists, are now taking our message for the third time to Parliament Hill to meet with other Members of Parliament to bring the issue to the forefront. Specifically, that every Canadian should have the right and ability to have a family without fear of legal prosecution,” says Leia Swanberg.

Statistically speaking, one in six individuals/couples across Canada access fertility services. These individuals include cancer patients, same-sex individuals/couples and other members of the LGBTQ community and heterosexual individuals/couples. It is this group of representative’s mandate to create safe and healthy avenues in which those who dream of having a family can achieve those dreams successfully, confidently and without fear of prosecution under the current murky legislation.


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Original Source: Fertility Advisors Continues Advocacy With Third Day on Parliament Hill