When I discovered the CBC, I was both impressed and encouraged by the boldness of the organization’s commitment to address complex issues in science and medicine, firmly holding medicine accountable to the hippocratic oath, to do no harm. I wanted to know more, to be a part of it. I joined the CBC as a volunteer in 2017 and the CBC was about to release the film #BigFertility, a film about Kelly Martinez, a surrogate mother who was lied to, lied about, bullied, exploited, nearly ruined financially, and barely escaped her surrogate pregnancies with her life. 

As a reproductive physiologist and a perinatal nurse, I was especially taken with the work done to educate people on the dangers and harms of third party reproduction, harms that Kelly herself experienced,  and I so badly wished I had been involved in the creation of the six films, including BigFertility, dedicated to surrogate mothers, anonymous sperm donors, egg donors and those exploited by the fertility industry.

Instead, however, I was able to walk hand-in-hand with our founder, Jennifer Lahl, as we entered the gender identity industry space to create a trilogy of films which explored the topic of the transgender gender affirmation therapy as the main treatment for minors and young adults who believe they are born in the wrong body. Our first film, Trans Mission: What’s the Rush to Reassign Gender? explored the medical ethics of puberty blocking and cross-sex hormones in children. Having an overwhelmingly positive response, this film was quickly followed with the release of The Detransition Diaries: Saving our Sisters, told through the stories of three young women who felt their life would be easier if they transitioned to living life as if they were men.  With the release of The Detransition Diaries, parents of young men begged us to make a film to tell their stories of their sons who are growing up with confusing messages around what it means to be a man. We answered their cry and produced The Lost Boys: Searching for Manhood– the final film in the trilogy. I’m excited to have the opportunity to show you the trailer here tonight.  ————- The Lost Boys: Searching for Manhood Trailer————–

There have been over half a million views of clips from that new documentary The Lost Boys: Searching for Manhood. A half million views on a brand new documentary released by the CBC in January 2024. Not one would have been possible without the generous support from people like you. Available in three languages, the film has been viewed in countries all over the globe and has over 400 positive comments on YouTube, succeeding in our mission to educate and inform on the topics that most profoundly affect our humanity. 

This film was overwhelmingly funded with small gifts from parents with struggling sons. In just five months since the release, and more than five hundred thousand views later, here we are. We have survived the cancel culture and have already been official selections in film festivals across the nation. As it did with films on third party reproduction,  the CBC is reaching a global audience through the powerful media of film. Jennifer has just returned from a sold out premiere in London and the next stop for both of us will be a screening at an international conference in Lisbon, Portugal. I should add that these films, as well as our other films, are all available for free on Youtube and in many different languages, thanks to generous and consistent monthly donors.

Of course, our work isn’t limited to film. During the creation of these films, we were approached by Ignatius Press to turn the second film, The Detransition Diaries, into a book. 

The book was released in February of this year and we have been very busy fulfilling interview requests across the nation on the topic. Our publisher is already in conversation with publishers in France and Italy to reprint the book in those languages. If you haven’t read it yet, don’t worry, you can get an autographed copy by making a donation to the CBC tonight. 

It is no coincidence that our organization operates out of a state that directly opposes our mission and vision. You see, California, is marked by many as the wild wild west of third party reproduction where cash is king and informed consent is optional. One recent report disclosed that almost 40% of people traveling from outside the country for gestational surrogacy arrangements are single men, over the age of 42 and predominantly from China. Just in the last two months I was contacted by two surrogate mothers, who were used by California surrogate agencies, wanting to tell their stories and expose the industry for what it is, baby selling. One woman was captivated by the stories of loss and desire from what are called intended parents. Wanting to help others and contribute financially to her household, she chose to be a surrogate mother for a couple that she thought was longing to grow their family.  Only after, she found out that the baby she gave birth to was then adopted by another family and that was the arrangement all along. These stories and reports raise a lot of red flags for us and our work to protect women and children, not just in this state, but around the world.

Not only does California promote the commodification of women and children, but did you know that California has now become a sanctuary state to minors, allowing them to flee home for access to puberty blockers, cross sex hormones and surgeries like double mastectomies and so-called ‘bottom surgery’. And our taxpayer dollars will foot the bill. These children are also being offered so-called fertility preservation because their fertility is negatively affected, if not destroyed, by the practice of what is called “transgender medicine”. Do you see the parallel between the fertility industry and the gender identity industry?

Over the last 4 years we have actively raised our voice against these atrocities and have stayed true to our mission to educate and inform parents, students, the general public, leaders, lawmakers and others on the dangers of allowing medicine to leave the tradition of the hippocratic oath, promoting harm, instead of health and healing. 

Tonight we celebrate the boldness of this organization and others, like Dr. Bishop and Riley Gaines, who are dedicated to facing the bioethical challenges of today and defending the dignity of humankind. We need more men and women willing to do so. 

With a mission rooted in education and in the spirit of the late great Paul Ramsey, a professor at Princeton, known for his work and contributions in the field of medical ethics, we created an award and training program that would keep his work alive and pass it onto the next generation leaders and thinkers. Twenty years ago, we honored Dr. Edmund Pellegrino, a physician at Georgetown University, with our first Paul Ramsey Award. Tonight we celebrate our 20th Paul Ramsey Award Recipient, Dr. Jeffrey Bishop. 

We also celebrate the newest cohort of Paul Ramsey Institute fellows scattered at tables around the room. Seven new fellows have joined the Paul Ramsey Institute ranks, and when they graduate next year, we will have had over 50 bright doctors, nurses, lawyers, philosophers, academics and others complete this highly sought after training program pursuing answers to important questions facing our world today. But, this training program would be nothing without the Scholars that lead it. With your support, we now have 6 bright scholars leading each group of the Paul Ramsey Fellowship. These scholars, are the secret sauce to the Paul Ramsey Fellowship and their devotion to meet with our fellows 3 times a year, many traveling long distances year after year must be acknowledged.

Because of your support, and the dedication of our Scholars, we can be sure that there will be others in various positions of influence in classrooms, courtrooms, and hospitals committed to stand boldly, committed to addressing complex issues in science and medicine. And, it is our dream that they will be able to link arms with others doing the same. For the first time ever, this year, the CBC will be hosting the first Alumni meeting in September. Past fellows will have the opportunity to meet together, forge friendships, and do the important work of networking. Through the PRI, we are actively preparing men and women to be the ethical voice of reason in various spheres of influence.  

Twenty four years ago, Jennifer started the CBC as her passion project and I am forever grateful for the impact she has had on my life and the life of others. This year, she has lit the torch I’ve been holding since 2017. As the leader of the CBC, I am committed to boldly fulfilling our mission and vision just as she has for more than two decades.  There is no organization like ours,  placed providentially at the epicenter of some of our time’s greatest ethical issues, resolutely standing up and speaking out. For the last 24 years, we have been unafraid of addressing key bioethical issues and with your support we won’t relent. With a future full of men trying to breastfeed or give birth, scientists trying to grow fetuses in artificial wombs, and the fertility industry trying to create and sell designer babies, there is too much at stake to stop.