Recently I had a private exchange with a few people online who wondered why I was taking a critical stance against the transgender issue. They support our work as it relates to #BigFertility in the areas of surrogacy and women’s rights, maternal bonding, etc, but they struggled to see how transgender advocacy has anything to do with our scope of work. These questions provide an excellent opportunity for us to add much needed clarity on this subject:
Our reasons for entering into this particular debate are numerous but all equally important. Underscoring all of them are the pharmaceutical industry that continually capitalizes off peoples’ desperation without regard for long term consequences and the corruption of “do no harm’ medicine.
First, “men” started having babies. Then “trans women” started wanting uterine transplants. Then #BigPharma started luring children into a lifetime of pharmaceutical dependence via puberty blockers and cross sex hormones that will render these children permanently sterile before they are even old enough to pierce their ears without parental consent. Doctors will go to work today to perform elective double mastectomies on 15-year-old girls.
Did you know that when these children medically and surgically “transition,” they are offered “fertility preservation” so if they want, they can freeze their eggs and sperm to use after they’ve been rendered infertile? If these young girls freeze their eggs before they opt for hysterectomies, who will carry their embryos for their surrogate pregnancies later? Whose sperm will fertilize them? If these males freeze their sperm during transition, whose eggs will they fertilize? Who will gestate these embryos? I hope you can see the connections between the work we have been doing and now this expansion of #BigFertility.
We’ve been writing about this stuff (and much more) for years. We focus on science, technology, medicine, law and a lot around assisted reproduction. Our position is never about partisan politics; it’s about the ethical implications people tend to gloss over en route to their desired ends. Bad ideas create victims. Our job at the CBC is to question and challenge bad ideas before people get hurt.
- 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.