Hon. John Bel Edwards
Office of the Governor, State of Louisiana
PO Box 94004
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9004
Dear Governor Edwards,
We are women and men of diverse ethnic, racial, religious, cultural, sexual orientation and socio-economic backgrounds from all regions of the world. We come together to voice our shared concern for women and children who are exploited through surrogacy contract pregnancy and ask you to veto HB 1102.
Together we affirm the deep longing that many have to be parents. Yet, as with most desires, there must be limits. Human rights provide an important marker for identifying what those limits should be. We believe that surrogacy should be stopped because it is an abuse of women’s and children’s human rights.
Surrogacy often depends on the exploitation of poorer, minority women. In many cases, it is the poor who have to sell and the rich who can afford to buy. These unequal transactions result in consent that is under informed if not uninformed, low payment, coercion, poor health care, and severe risks to the short- and long-term health of women who carry surrogate pregnancies.
The medical process for surrogacy entails risks for the surrogate mother and the children born via the assisted reproductive technologies employed. Children born of assisted reproductive technologies, which are usually employed in surrogacy, also face known health risks that include: preterm birth, stillbirth, low birth weight, fetal anomalies, and higher blood pressure. A surrogate pregnancy intentionally severs the natural maternal bonding that takes places in pregnancy—a bond that medical professionals consistently encourage and promote. We believe that the practice of commercial surrogacy is indistinguishable from the buying and selling of children. Even when non- commercial (that is, unpaid or “altruistic”), any practice that subjects women and children to such risks must be banned.
We stand together asking national governments of the world and leaders of the international community to work together to end this practice and Stop Surrogacy Now.
Feminist leader, activist, and author
Phyllis Chesler, Ph.D.
Emerita Professor of Psychology, Feminist activist, Scholar and Author of, Sacred Bond: The Legacy of Baby M
Marjorie Murphey Campbell, J.D.
Founder of NewFeminism.co
Renate Klein, Ph.D.
Biologist, social scientist, and coordinator FINRRAGE (Feminist International Network of Resistance to Reproductive and Genetic Engineering)
Founder and President, Apne Aap Women Worldwide
Founder and President of the Center for Bioethics and Culture Network
Janice G. Raymond, Ph.D.
Professor Emerita University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and author of Women as Wombs: Reproductive Technologies and the Battle Over Women’s Freedom
Kajsa Ekis Ekman
author of Being and Being Bought – Prostitution, Surrogacy and the Split Self
Product of a surrogate pregnancy
Feminist philosopher, author of Corps en Miettes
Philosopher and Writer
Women’s rights and health activist
LGBT activist and public administration campaigner
Elisa Anne Gomez
Eleanor M. and Oscar M. Endowed Chair in Women’s Studies, University of Rhode Island
Helen Alvare, J.D.
Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law
graduate student in International Relations from University of Calabria
Writer, author, broadcaster, and feminist campaigner against violence against women and children
M.A. Health Advocacy, Sarah Lawrence College
Gender equality expert, feminist activist, president of the Swedish Women’s Lobby
Lord David Alton
Member of British Parliament
Executive Director, The Center for Bioethics and Culture
Robert Oscar Lopez, Ph.D.
President of the International Children’s Rights Institute
Founder of The Anonymous Us Project and Advocate for Donor-Conceived People
Charles C. Camosy, Ph.D.
Associate professor of theological and social ethics, Fordham University
Director of Research and Education, The Center for Bioethics and Culture
C. Ben Mitchell, Ph.D.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Graves Professor of Moral Philosophy, Union University
Evan Grae Davis
Filmmaker and director of It’s a Girl
Donor Conceived Activist
Founder of the free social network: www.DonorChildren.com
Donor Conceived Advocate Connecting Biological Family and the Community
Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy
Board Member of Adoption Rights Coalition
Jeffrey M. Togman, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Political Science and Film at Seton Hall University Director of the film We’re Not Blood
Cathi Swett, J.D.
Attorney and Adult Adoptee Advocate
Author of The Stork Market: America’s Multi-Billion Dollar Unregulated Adoption Industry
Miriam Grossman, M.D.
Adolescent and adult psychiatrist and women’s health activist. Author of Unprotected
and You’re Teaching My Child WHAT?
Melinda Tankard Reist Writer, feminist, activist
Nkechi Asogwa, M.D.
President, Doctors Health Initiative
Publisher and Editor in chiefof TW Magazine(www.twmagazine.net)
Ego Egonu, M.D. Physician, Derry Clinics
Convener, Socio-Economic Welfare Society
Gen. Secretary, Socio-Economic Welfare Society
Project Coordinator, Socio-Economic Welfare Society
Writer, author of Qumran and La Répudiée, which inspired Amos Gitai’s film Kadosh
Executive Director, Healthy Living and Women Empowerment Initiative
Annika Lundegårdh, R.N.
Nurse and President of the Women’s Committee of the Centre Party in Uppsala
Nina Björk Author
Ebon Kram Chairman
Chairman, National Organization Against Sexual Abuse
Vice-Chairman, National Organization Against Sexual Abuse
Professor of Women’s History at the Gothenburg University
Chairwoman, Roks, The National Organization for Women´s Shelter and Young Women´s Shelter
Author, Feminist, and Professor in Nordic Literature, University of Helsinki
Nina Rose, M.D.
Vice President, Swedish Women Doctor’s Society
Caroline Norma, Ph.D.
Lecturer in Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University
Jorunn Friis Reset
Organisational secretary, Women’s Front
Helen Pringle, Ph.D.
Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences, University of New South Wales
Chairman of the Kurdistan Women’s Association in Sweden
President of Scandinavian Human Rights Lawyers
Attorney, Scandinavian Human Rights Lawyers
Maria Mies, Ph.D.
Founding member of FINRRAGE (Feminist International Network of Resistance to Reproductive and
President, Pakistan Chapter of the International Muslim Women Union General Secretary, Women’s Aid Trust
Mia Fahlén, M.D.
Senior Consultant Surgeon
Ana Reis, M.D.
Feminist physician, Former representative of FINRRAGE
President, European Women’s Lobby
Donor conceived advocate and Founder of TangledWebs
Tasmanian Public Interest Advocate, Whistleblowers Tasmania
Survivor of Prostitution, Director of NorMAC
Professor Emeritus in Ethnology, Université Paris Ouest
President of the Observatoire Droits des Femmes CG-13 President of ECVF, Politicians Against Violence Against Women
Former Minister for Women’s Rights
President, La Lune, L’Association Strasbourgeoise de Femmes Homosexuelles
Marie-Josèphe Bonnet, Ph.D.
Historian of Women, Arts, and the Second World War
Anne-Yvonne Le Dain
Deputy, Socialist Party
Journalist and Writer
Representative, Coordination of Associations for the Right to Abortion and Contraception
Representative Coordination of Associations for the Right to Abortion and Contraception
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development
Editor of EMMA and co-founder of Mouvement de Liberation des Femmes (MLF)
Sociologist and Research director at Le Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
Psychoanalyst and author of Frankenstein et les Délires de la Raison and Main Basse sur les Vivants
Member of the European Parliament (Green Group), Former Chairman of Confederation Paysanne / Via Campesina, and Founding member of ATTAC France
Emma Sahlén Grip
Press Officer, National Organization for Women’s and Girls Shelters in Sweden, Roks
Executive Director of Against Child Trafficking
Author of Romania for Export Only: the Untold Story of the Romanian Orphans
Director, Sakhee Pune
Concerned activist for child rights
Contact person for ACT
Sex trade survivor activist and Member, Amnesty International against pimps and buyers
Deputy of Paris 2002-2012, secretary of the delegation for women’s rights of the National Assembly 2007-2012, author of a proposition of law against violence against women in 2007 with Marie-George Buffet
Gloria Casas Vila
Spanish/Swiss activist against prostitution and surrogacy
Sophie Heine, Ph.D.
Senior Research Fellow at Egmont, Royal Institute for International Relations
Head of Regulatory Outreach
Action for family, President
Swedish National Committee for UN Women,
Swedish Women Doctor’s Society,
Roks, The National Organization for Women´s Shelter and Young Women´s Shelter,
Swedish Women’s Lobby,
Kurdistan Women’s Association,
Women’s Organisation’s Committee on Alcohol and Drug Issues,
European Women’s Lobby,
La Lune, L’Association Strasbourgeoise de Femmes Homosexuelles,
Coordination of Associations for the Right to Abortion and Contraception,
Cercle d’Etude de Réformes Féministes (CERF),
Against Child Trafficking (ACT),
The Center for Bioethics and Culture,
Women’s Bioethics Alliance,
Scandinavian Human Rights Lawyers,