What a busy summer we’ve had! Let me share a few top highlights with you.
In early July I flew to Billings, Montana, where I was the sole speaker at a worldview conference. I addressed more than 150 people on work of the CBC around the taking, making, and faking of human life. I gave four talks in two days, and had the opportunity to enjoy a group dinner with several young students. I’m always excited to have a chance to speak with young people about our issues as they are often the primary targets of egg and sperm donation ads. At the CBC, we like to remind folks—especially young people—to think again before they fall prey to such schemes.
Soon thereafter I spent a day in Los Angeles to address over 200 people at a daylong conference on ethics and eugenics. While there I was awarded the Pope St. John Paul II Award for Respect for Human Life at an evening dinner sponsored by the National Catholics Bioethics Center and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The next week, Matthew Eppinette, our executive director and the co-writer of our films, showed or newest film, Breeders: A Subclass of Women? to a highly engaged crowd at his college alma mater, Louisiana State University in Shreveport.
Then it was off to Minneapolis for back-to-back screenings of Breeders?. ABC Nightline spent the day interviewing me and two women in the film, and attended the cinema screening capturing a great deal of footage. (Click here to see the Nightline segment and all the recent media coverage.) What a great night at the movies we had! Women who had been surrogates were out in full force protesting our work, and the audience was electric—packed houses, good energy, and highly spirited discussion after the film.
I hope you’re as encouraged as I am that our work is gaining such momentum!
Two key questions have come out of these recent activities. First, why do you make movies? And second, what movie will you make next?
The first question is easy. This summer alone we reached more than 600 people with our films through public screenings—and that doesn’t even include the number of individuals, schools, and organizations that have purchased the film or watched it online. Nearly 250 people in Minnesota alone saw the film in just two days time! We would never reach that many people in such a short amount of time if we’d written a book on the ethics of assisted reproductive technology. At each location, we sold out of our DVDs. Not only did we reach the people there, but we also enabled them to go back to their networks with our films to reach their friends!
The second question is harder to answer. But there will be another movie, and with your help, sooner rather than later. We have many ideas. Please stay tuned!
We have a very busy fall planned. I’ve been invited to speak at the Vatican in Rome in November. A group in Paris, France is interested in dubbing Breeders?, which is costly, and having us screen it there at a big conference. I’ll be traveling to Washington, D.C. for another screening, and we’re expecting a full slate of college and university campus screenings once classes are back in session.
As you can see, there is much work ahead! We are always grateful for your support as it helps us continue with our important and necessary work. And we’d love to hear from you—it’s a great encouragement to our staff!
With Much Gratitude,
PS: Times are busy because the needs are real and pressing. Your generosity enables us to meet these challenges. Won’t you please give today?
- 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.