By Dan O'Connor, Special to CNN
updated 8:59 AM EST, Thu March 7, 2013

(CNN) -- If you can come up with a tale that better illustrates America's messed-up moral views on abortion, parenting and personal freedom than the story of Crystal Kelley -- the surrogate mother who was offered $10,000 by the parents to abort the fetus she was carrying for them -- then you've got a better imagination than I do.

Let's run through the story quickly: Kelley had agreed to be a surrogate and was being paid $2,222 a month by the parents for her trouble. But an ultrasound scan of the fetus showed serious abnormalities. Fearing that the child would never lead a normal life -- whatever that may be -- the parents asked Kelley to abort.
Although the surrogacy agreement contained a clause to this effect, Kelley refused. This is where things became, to put it charitably, unseemly.
The parents offered Kelly an extra $10,000 to terminate the pregnancy. Although she said she was against abortion for religious and moral reasons, Kelley eventually thought she might be able to quash those ethical qualms if the parents paid her $15,000 -- $5,000 apparently being the difference between "against" and "fine with it." The parents refused, and Kelley says she regretted the offer.