I want to highlight a recent conference in Rome, hosted by one of the original organizational signers of the Stop Surrogacy Now Statement, “Se Non Ora Quando? – Libere” (transl: “If Not Now When? – Free”).
Below is the content of an email that has just gone out to the several thousand on the Stop Surrogacy Now email list. In it you will read about the recent gathering of a very diverse coalition working together across many of the typical dividing lines in order to put a stop to the abuses brought about by the practice of surrogacy.
The Atlantic found the group gathered in Rome so surprising that they dedicated a profile article to covering it. Of course, working across multiple lines that normally divide is our stock-in-trade here at the CBC.
This is just one of the successes of our #StopSurrogacyNow initiative. In fact, Matthew and I are in the midst of preparing to go to Spain later this month for another conference under the #StopSurrogacyNow umbrella. We will be sending you more information on that meeting very soon.
Thank you for your continued support, which makes all this possible!
PS: Have you signed the #StopSurrogacyNow Statement (available in eight languages!)? If not, why not do it right now?
Last month we alerted you to a meeting in Rome put together by “Se Non Ora Quando? – Libere” (transl: “If Not Now When? – Free”), an original organizational signer of our Stop Surrogacy Now Statement.
The international meeting in Rome, held on 23 March, presented a request to the United Nations bodies, in order to address the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) (and of child and human rights), to create a procedure aimed at recommending the practice of surrogate motherhood to be prohibited as incompatible with the respect of human rights and women’s dignity.
The meeting garnered international attention, including a profile piece in The Atlantic focused on the diversity of those gathered and working together to Stop Surrogacy Now.
What made the conference in Rome unique, however, was its international character, and the fact that it featured prominent participants from all across the political spectrum, ranging from Laurence Dumont, the socialist vice president of France’s National Assembly, to Beatrice Lorenzin, the conservative Italian Health Minister, to Susanna Tamaro, one of Italy’s most famous novelists.
This diversity — drawing from ethnic, religious, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds from all regions of the world — is part of the Stop Surrogacy Now project that strengthens our coalition and propels our message: Stop Surrogacy Now!
The resolution presented at the meeting reads in part:
Surrogate motherhood refers in fact to the specific appropriation of women’s reproductive capacities. It leads to a strict control over all aspects of their life during pregnancy and to a threat for their physical and mental health, with the sole goal of satisfying the desire of a third party.
In this respect, we don’t have to fall into the rhetorical trap of individual freedom and “the wonderful gift of life.” Surrogate motherhood leads to a real dehumanization of mother and child as it consciously creates a state of sacrifice and abandonment. The desire of becoming a parent can’t be raised to an individual right for the “customer” in order to take control over a woman’s body and consequently making a child’s life a private property.
To read a PDF of the full text of the resolution, click here.
Below are photos from the event.
Congratulations to “Se Non Ora Quando? – Libere,” and thank you for being part of the Stop Surrogacy Now Coalition!
- 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.