I’m just back from Charleston, South Carolina, where I attended the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys (AAARTA) professional conference. I listened in for three days on presentations addressing all things associated with third party reproduction from the perspective of lawyers, lobbyists, and advocates for LGBT rights and expanding global laws. I learned a lot.
Much of what I learned disturbed me. I hope to write more about the different sessions at the conference moving forward.
One thing that really bothered me, though, was how every presenter called women “carriers” and “donors”. It was especially bothersome against the background of the slave history of South Carolina. While I was there I toured the city, visited The Old Slave Mart Museum, and learned about the early history of the slave breeders.
It appears we have not learned from history.
New York is moving toward legalizing paid surrogacy contract pregnancies.
The District of Columbia is seeking to overturn their ban on surrogacy contract pregnancies.
And I have heard of a few others states preparing to advance permissive surrogacy bills.
Much work to do!
- Jennifer Lahl, MA, BSN, RN, is founder and president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. Lahl couples her 25 years of experience as a pediatric critical care nurse, a hospital administrator, and a senior-level nursing manager with a deep passion to speak for those who have no voice. Lahl’s writings have appeared in various publications including Cambridge University Press, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, and the American Journal of Bioethics. As a field expert, she is routinely interviewed on radio and television including ABC, CBS, PBS, and NPR. She is also called upon to speak alongside lawmakers and members of the scientific community, even being invited to speak to members of the European Parliament in Brussels to address issues of egg trafficking; she has three times addressed the United Nations during the Commission on the Status of Women on egg and womb trafficking.