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Kan. bill would make surrogacy for pay a crime

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- A Kansas Senate committee's chairwoman is pushing a proposal that would make it illegal to pay women to be surrogate mothers and void existing surrogacy contracts.

The Public Health and Welfare Committee was meeting Monday afternoon to begin two days of hearings on the proposal from Shawnee Republican Mary Pilcher-Cook.

The bill is patterned after a law in the District of Columbia. Pilcher-Cook has said she's concerned that Kansas has no laws dealing with surrogacy contracts and she worries about women being exploited.

The measure would cover both oral and written surrogacy contracts.

A person who arranges a contract for pay or other compensation would be guilty of a misdemeanor and could face up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.