I was dismayed by the paternalistic assumptions Kathleen Parker presented in her May 26 op-ed column, “Wombs for rent.” It was disappointing to see the “women are being exploited” arguments surfacing again, decades after they were first used by anti-surrogacy groups against developments in assisted-reproduction technology.

Contained in that misconception is the notion that women are too ignorant, ill-informed or otherwise unable to make rational decisions to be surrogates and to use their minds and bodies to help those who cannot carry a fetus to term, such as, for example, women who have been struck by cancer or other disease. The truth is that the vast majority of women who choose to serve as surrogates are intelligent, well-educated and financially secure; they are caring individuals who want to help others in a unique and meaningful way.

Most surrogacy arrangements conclude happily with the birth of a healthy child and with all the participants feeling satisfied with the process and the outcome. Ms. Parker’s implication is nonsensical — surrogacy should not be banned; it should be regulated with reasonable medical and legal oversight. 

Judith Sperling-Newton, Washington

The writer is director of the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys.