To understand the depths of Rep. Roger Hunt's (R-10/Brandon) misogyny, check the rebuttal he offered toward the end of yesterday's hearing on his House Bill 1218. This legislation would have effectively banned surrogacy in South Dakota.
In powerful, moving testimony, Sioux Falls surrogate mom Kristi Moen told the House Judiciary Committee (composed of twelve men and one woman) that she is currently pregnant with her second surrogate child. She asked the committee not to make her a felon just for trying to bring the gift of life to another family. She told the committee she understands the physical, emotional, and legal challenges of surrogacy. She asked the committee not to establish government dictatorship over who can and cannot become parents.
Representative Roger Hunt then had the gall to say that Harold Cassidy, the New Jersey lawyer and hired gun behind much of the calculated language in South Dakota's abortion laws, knew more about surrogacy laws than anyone in the room. The expert on surrogacy is not South Dakotan woman Kristi Moen, who is living surrogacy right now. Not South Dakota woman Lindsay Kinzer, another South Dakota surrogate mom who testified to the social good she can do by helping other people become parents. No. Hunt says that on pregnancy, we should put more trust in a New Jersey lawyer, a man, a shyster who preaches bad science and makes a living on the Orwellian pretense that we protect women's rights by taking rights away.
House Judiciary voted 9&ndash3 to defer HB 1218 to the 41st day, our pleasant South Dakota euphemism for killing the bill. Hunt and colleagues Don Kopp and Stace Nelson still voted for the bill, and deserve your criticism for taking a man's word over a woman's on how she chooses to reproduce.