Raise your hand if you can’t believe how fast 2018 is flying by! As I write, it’s almost May, nearly halfway through the year—wow how time flies.
I’m just back from speaking at Harvard Law School, and the students there were very busy with final papers and end of year exams. Of course, this was combined with excitement at the great accomplishment of completing another—or in some students’ case, their final—year of law school.
Not only does the month of May mark the end of the school year, but it’s also the month when we celebrate mothers. For those of us at the CBC, we are painfully aware of those for whom Mother’s Day is a sad occasion. It can be a reminder of a dear mother who has died or of being far away from and unable to be together with our mother. Because of our work, we are especially aware of the sadness of those who long to be mothers but who, for a variety of reasons, particularly because of infertility, are unable to have children.
But longing for and desiring a child does not mean there is “a right” to another woman’s body (neither her womb nor her eggs) in order to fulfill that desire. We are increasingly facing arguments that there is a right to a child, and therefore a right to use another woman’s body in order to procure that child. We face an uphill battle pushing back against surrogacy-enabling legislation that is moving across our country and around the world, in addition to fighting against the already existing lucrative human egg market.
A key strength of the CBC is our educational work: speaking, providing expert testimony, and using film to tell stories—high impact stories—of real women who have suffered real harm.
While we may lose a legislative fight (like Washington State) and we don’t yet know the outcome of efforts in New Jersey or New York, we do know that our efforts are informing people of the real risks to women and children. And we know, because we hear from so many, that we are having a positive impact.
Just because something becomes legal doesn’t mean people have to do it. We view our educational efforts as similar to those on smoking. While smoking is legal, the majority of people have been educated on the harms of smoking so that they make the decision not to smoke.
This is why we need your financial help to complete our next documentary film on the big business of surrogacy, which rakes in billions of dollars worldwide each year. I’ve begun calling it Big Fertility, similar to the way we think of Big Tobacco. Big Fertility exploits, uses, abuses, preys on, and commodifies women. It turns children into products to be designed, selected, and purchased, while it profits handsomely. And it is willing to fight like mad to protect its moneyed interests.
This film will expose Big Fertility and educate others about the abuses of surrogacy by telling the story of Kelly, a woman who loved being pregnant and helping others. As a surrogate mother she was lied to, lied about, used, exploited, and nearly ruined financially. In the end, she barely escaped with her life.
To finish the film, I need to raise $10,000 to record the narration and push everything across the finish line. If you are able to make a donation of $1,000 you will be given an associate producer credit. But any amount is most needed.
Help us tell Kelly’s story. Help us take on Big Fertility.
Graphics by Vecteezy
- 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.