How many? This was Jennifer’s simple question in her testimony before the Washington State House Judiciary Committee yesterday morning. How many women . . . how many children . . . how many must be harmed before surrogacy is stopped?
As part of SB 6037, “The Uniform Parenting Act,” Washington State is considering enabling commercial, gestational surrogacy. Jennifer has now testified before two committees and has provided one-on-one information and education to many lawmakers in the state.
Her testimony yesterday is an impassioned plea to look beyond the industry-provided picture of “people building families” to see surrogacy for what it really is: the commodification of women and children that carries the prospect of very real harms to both.
These concerns aren’t merely hypothetical. Consider Brooke Lee Brown. She and the twins she was carrying for a couple in Spain (where surrogacy is illegal) died one day short of a scheduled delivery.
Consider Jessica Allen who, without realizing it, gave her own child to a Chinese couple for whom she was a surrogate mother. She had to wage a battle to get her own child back, and is still fighting to obtain the correct birth certificate.
Consider Kelly Martinez, the subject of our next film, who was lied to, lied about, nearly died, and almost ruined financially while serving as a surrogate mother. In a speech she gave at the United Nations Kelly described herself as “a broken woman” because of these experiences.
Consider Gail, Heather, Cindy, and Tanya, four women profiled in our Breeders: A Subclass of Women?, each of whom carries deep wounds from their experiences.
These are only the tip of the iceberg that is the harms of surrogacy. There are so many more women and children who have been harmed. Make no mistake: tip of the iceberg.
How many, indeed. How many women? How many children? How many have to be harmed before we will come to see how awful this practice is, before our lawmakers will realize that no amount of legislation, no length of contract or nuance of language can possibly eliminate the harms of surrogacy? To protect women and children fully, surrogacy must be prohibited.
Watch Jennifer’s February 21 Testimony in Full (3:44):
Watch Jennifer’s January 17 Testimony (2:31)
Watch the Director’s Statement regarding Breeder’s: A Subclass of Women? (7:11)
Read the full prepared text from which the above testimonies are drawn: “Regulation can Never . . .”
Read the material available on the resources page at the #StopSurrogacyNow website