Subscribe to the BioNews newsletter for free

Login
Advanced Search

Search for
BioNews

Like the Progress Educational Trust on Facebook




 

US Congress lawmaker resigns amid surrogacy scandal

18 December 2017

By Sean Byrne

Appeared in BioNews 931

Congressman Trent Franks has resigned from the US House of Representatives, following claims of misconduct related to pursuing a surrogacy arrangement with a former staffer.

Franks, who was serving his eighth term representing Arizona, resigned with immediate effect on 8 December. The Congress Committee on Ethics had unanimously voted the previous day to 'establish an investigative subcommittee tasked with determining whether Franks had engaged in conduct that constitutes sexual harassment and/or retaliation for opposing sexual harassment'.

It is unclear from reports as to how many allegations formally stand against Franks, although he does not deny discussing surrogacy with at least two former staffers. 

One former aide – who wishes to remain anonymous – alleged that Franks offered her upwards of US$5 million dollars to act as a surrogate, approaching her at least four separate times, on one occasion with a pre-drafted surrogacy contract.

Speaking to the Associated Press – who have verified that she was previously employed by Franks – the aide said she did not file a formal complaint because until recently she was unsure of how to do so, but that his conduct had made her feel uncomfortable.

Andrea Lafferty, President of Traditional Values Coalition, approached the House Speaker Paul Ryan about the matter last month with permission of the aide, stating she had been contacted for advice by the aide last year.

Franks in his own statement cited the struggles he and his wife had had with infertility during the course of their marriage. His own twins have been conceived through a previous unrelated surrogacy arrangement, which Franks states was 'a pro-life approach that did not discard or throw away any embryos'. A known conservative, Franks has authored many anti-abortion bills during his time at Congress.

In light of the plethora of sexual harassment claims which have arisen over the previous year, Franks stated that he resigned with immediate effect to 'avoid a sensationalised trial by media', having previously stated he would resign at the end of January 2018.

RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE

04 December 2017 - by Jennifer Willows 
A remedial order has been laid before Parliament which, if passed, will give single people the same rights as couples to become the legal parents of their surrogate-born children...
04 December 2017 - by Jennifer Willows 
Of Kith and Kin is a play about surrogacy that seems to have very little to say about surrogacy...
23 October 2017 - by Dr Mary Yarwood 
A surrogate from Queensland, Australia has had her parental rights removed after a judge decided it was in the baby's best interests...
23 October 2017 - by Dr Michelle Rodgers 
Equity and access are among the most urgent issues for medically assisted reproduction. According to Ireland's Health Research Board, across Europe six countries offer full public funding, and 19 countries offer partial public funding...
07 August 2017 - by Jennifer Willows 
An Australian nurse has been given a prison sentence after being found guilty of running an illegal surrogacy service in Cambodia...

HAVE YOUR SAY
Be the first to have your say.

You need to or  to add comments.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions


- click here to enquire about using this story.

Published by the Progress Educational Trust
Advertise your products and services HERE - click for further details

Good Fundraising Code

Become a Friend of PET HERE and give the Progress Educational Trust a regular donation