As I write, I’ve just returned from six packed days in Ireland and Spain where I gave many press interviews (a very favorable article was in the Irish Times about me and our work), gave several key talks, did a screening of Maggie’s Story to about 150 in Madrid (did you know that ALL of our films on third-party conception are now available with Spanish subtitles?!?), and had several one-on-one and small group discussions.
I returned physically exhausted but with a heightened awareness that CBC is the go-to organization for information on reproductive technologies and third-party reproduction. People are so hungry for information and ethical formation, and we certainly have the tools to provide this to them. Our films are in so many languages now—French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish—I can’t imagine what language is next!
Our recent documentary short film on Stephanie Packer (free for online viewing on our website, on Facebook, and on YouTube) is making a tremendous impact. We’ve had national and international press covering the film, her story, and our work at the CBC. The battle over assisted suicide is active in several areas of the country, so we are continuing our efforts to advance the picture of what a truly dignified death looks like. In addition, as I write, Stephanie herself is on a plane to New Jersey to testify at a hearing on legalizing assisted suicide there.
All of this work, of course, comes with associated expenses. Here are some big financials needs that we bring before you now for your consideration:
Our Paul Ramsey fellows and scholars convened for our Fall meeting this month. In 2017, we will finish with this cohort, recruit our next group of young scholars, AND host our first ever alumni meeting to bring all of the past and present fellows together for a big meeting. Dr. Carl Elliot with the University of Minnesota will be our guest scholar for this meeting and will give a keynote address. This is a huge and vitally important investment in the next generation of thinkers. Each meeting costs about $15,000 to cover all of the flights, meals, meeting rooms, and hotel accommodations. Would you be able to underwrite some of these costs? Consider covering the costs to train a fellow for one year for about $2,000. Or perhaps you can fund one meeting?
In March we have a big event planned at the U.N. in New York City during the 61st Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). We’ve titled our event “Trading on the Female Body,” and our speakers will include international feminist voices as well as victims of both surrogacy and egg trafficking. The event will be recorded and live-streamed so that those who cannot travel to New York will still have the opportunity to learn and to benefit from this important meeting.
We have received partial funding for this event through a generous grant, but we need to close a $25,000 budget gap. Would you be able and willing to help us bring these voices together at the U.N. to call for the protection of women’s bodies?
And as always, we have our normal operational costs to run the modest budget of the CBC. Rent, phone bills, website maintenance, and all the other incidentals of keeping the doors open and the lights on.
So few people understand the foundational work we do and the importance of this work for protecting our shared human future. Many people ask for our help and assistance without compensating us. I sometimes say we are pro bono’d to death because the demand is often more than we can meet—but we try to always say yes to those who come to us for help.
PS – Together we can protect our shared human future. 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.