With 2016 nearly half over, the work and challenge before us continues full steam ahead. Allow me to give you an overview of what our summer will look like. As I write, I am packing for trips to Washington, DC, and Indianapolis where I will speak first to well over 100 eager young law students, educating them with information on the legal ramifications of the vital third-party reproduction issues of surrogacy, egg donation, and sperm donation. Speaking to such a group is a personal highlight—to reach the future legal minds that will be writing, arguing for, and defending just laws. Perhaps, somewhere in the room there will be a future Supreme Court Justice.
A few days later I will speak at a conference that has more than 6,000 registered from all walks of life and all regions of the country. I will be bringing them fully up to speed on the issues of reproductive technologies, and helping them to understand these modern technologies in light of the age old problem of infertility.
Here in our home state of California we are fighting against AB 2531, a bill that would pay women for their eggs for research. We successfully fought a similar bill before, and thankfully we were successful in securing a veto from Governor Brown in 2013. We have just made both Eggsploitation and our documentary short film Maggie’s Story available to legislators and their staff members in order to help them understand the dangers women face from egg donation.
We provided these films to the legislators and their staff members at no charge. Would you consider giving a gift to help us underwrite the costs of giving them these two important films?
I have been interviewed several times in the past few years by German television, and I am coordinating with a new German show that is coming to film me and one of the surrogates featured in our Breeders: A Subclass of Women?. Surrogacy is illegal in Germany, and they come to the US to see how the industry functions here. We are showing them that surrogacy is harmful to women and to children, and we will encourage them to be thankful for their good law.
We are working behind the scenes in states in several regions of the country to help provide education and background for legislators who are working on writing and introducing laws that would make surrogacy contracts non-enforceable or keep surrogacy out of their state altogether. Such efforts are crucially important, but don’t get much glamor or attention. They require a lot of our time, but this gives us a real opportunity to work with legislators and their staff to inform them of the issues and work with them on putting together the best bills possible.
We are working with multiple states right now supporting their legislators and legislative staff members. Might you give a gift so that we can keep helping in these states and others that reach out to us for help?
We recently hosted a lecture and book signing by our good friend Wesley J. Smith in the CBC offices. We had a great turnout and an enthusiastic crowd. This is a wonderful way to impact the community in which we live and work, and so we are planning to host a similar public lecture with CBC Board Member Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, who is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Program in Medical Ethics at the University of California Irvine School of Medicine. Stay tuned for more events like this in the Fall as well.
Finally, my phone rings and email dings every day with requests from reporters for comment and/or background on surrogacy, egg donation, sperm donation, assisted suicide, and more.
All of this work takes a great deal of time, and very little of it provides any income to the CBC. But it is vitally important that we be available to do exactly this work. No other organization has the experience or has resources like our documentary films to meet the critical needs of legislators, reporters, and ordinary people who reach out to us for information and for help.
Thank you for all of the many ways in which you support the work of The Center for Bioethics and Culture.
We are looking forward to a full summer of work.
Please give today.
The Center for Bioethics and Culture is a non-profit 501(c)(3) public benefit educational organization. All gifts are tax-deductible.
- 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.
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