Gay Couple Demanded Surrogate Mom Abort Baby When She Found Out She Had Cancer

A distraught surrogate mother says a gay couple in California threatened to file a lawsuit against her if she refused to abort their unborn son she was carrying.

Brittney Pearson, 37, of Sacramento, said the threats came after she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in her second trimester, and the baby boy was stillborn, Townhall reports.

“It’s disappointing because I want to give them a family,” she said told the Daily Mail. “They say they care but they don’t. I felt betrayal and heartbreak.”

Last year, Pearson said a gay couple hired her as a surrogate mother, and she became pregnant with a baby boy. Then in May, he said he was diagnosed with cancer; Further tests showed that the cancer had spread and she would need intensive chemotherapy which could endanger the life of the unborn baby.

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“The first thing I thought after I was diagnosed was I want to keep this baby safe and bring it to earth,” she recalled. “I would have been there, I would have given him every chance of survival. There are people willing to help.”

Pearson was about 24 weeks pregnant at the time, meaning the baby could have survived outside the womb.

However, she said the couple wanted her to abort the baby and threatened legal action if she refused. Pearson said the men argued the baby could have health problems if he was born prematurely. She said they didn’t want her or an adoptive couple to raise the child, because their DNA was “out there.”

Pearson, who is raising four children herself, said the men also threatened to sue her agency and medical provider. According to the Mail, “At one point, she claims, her oncology team, after threatening legal action, said they weren’t sure they could give her chemo and would need to consult their own lawyers.”

Jennifer Lahl, president of the Center for Bioethics and Culture, said Pearson contacted their organization amid her problems. She said Pearson wanted to deliver the baby early and start chemotherapy, with the hope of saving their lives.

“But California law recognizes intended parents in contracting surrogacy arrangements as legal parents, only they can make decisions about the baby’s care. In this case, the denial of care,” explains Lahl on his organization’s website. “The mother’s rights to manage her own care are undermined, she is not even allowed to promote her own needs and the needs of the baby she will give birth to.”

Lahl said one of Pearson’s doctors knew of a family willing to adopt the baby, but the couple refused to hire him and “asked that no life-saving measures be taken on the baby if he was born alive.”

The Daily Mail reports more on the story:

Pearson told DailyMail.com that she had found a hospital to deliver her baby, but would not elaborate on whether the procedure was induction or termination, and whether or not the fetus was born alive.

He would only confirm that it had died.

‘The baby was born on Father’s Day, my mum had to hold him and take pictures but he didn’t survive’ she explained.

Pearson said she decided to share her story publicly because she didn’t want anyone else to suffer such a horrific experience.

Lahl expressed sympathy for the woman and the baby boy she carried, saying, “This case highlights many of the problems with contracted, largely commercial, pregnancies.”

Other surrogates in the US have also gone public to share how they felt pressured to abort by the couples who hired them. One, Crystal Kelley, fought back and refused the $10,000 she was offered to abort the baby girl. Later, the girl was adopted into a loving home.

Many countries prohibit or severely limit surrogacy because it presents so many legal and ethical problems. However, the United States is an exception, and there are no federal laws regulating the practice.

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