NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - With just days left on New York State's legislative calendar, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is pushing hard for the legalization of gestational surrogacy.
"If a woman wants to serve as a surrogate and wants to give a couple a baby, which is a beautiful gift, and bring a life into the world, and her rights are represented, why wouldn't you let her do it?" Cuomo said. "Why wouldn't you let her do it?"
The law could help solidify his place in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party and his support of LGBTQ rights.
"Part of getting married, many people, is then starting a family," Cuomo said. "Oh no, you can't do that in the state of New York. No surrogacy is permitted."
As the governor pointed out, the first state to legalize marriage equality is still one of three in the nation that does not support the formation of a family through non-conventional methods.
Cuomo said the law is "repugnant to what we believe and who we are."
"There is no rational opposition to it," he said.
Gestational surrogacy is the process of paying a woman to carry your child. Both the egg and the sperm are donated.
The average surrogacy, costs more than $100,000 with $30,000 to $50,000 going to the surrogate.
That is why some opponents to surrogacy see it as a form of exploitation that preys on low-income women. Others opponents see it as baby buying.
But for many, it is their only hope of having a family.
"It's disgraceful that our current law discriminates against both LGBTQ people and people who are infertile and need help conceiving," Rev. Stan Sloan of the Family Equality Council said. "And it takes an emotional toll."
If passed, New York's law would be the toughest in the nation. It would require the surrogate to be 21, have health insurance, and have independent legal counsel. And it would give the surrogate the sole right to terminate the pregnancy. It would also ensure that the big business of baby making stays in New York. the money that has traditionally flowed outside the state will stay put.
The governor said the state is talking with insurance companies to provide extended coverage for surrogacy. But he said that nothing can be finalized until the law is overturned.