Statement on Louisiana HB 1102, Surrogacy Law

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.

http://stopsurrogacynow.com

Individual Signatories:

Kathleen Sloan
Feminist leader, activist, and author
USA

Phyllis Chesler, Ph.D.
Emerita Professor of Psychology, Feminist activist, Scholar and Author of, Sacred Bond: The Legacy of Baby M
USA

Marjorie Murphey Campbell, J.D.
Founder of NewFeminism.co
USA

Renate Klein, Ph.D.
Biologist, social scientist, and coordinator FINRRAGE (Feminist International Network of Resistance to Reproductive and Genetic Engineering)
Australia

Ruchira Gupta
Founder and President, Apne Aap Women Worldwide
India

Jennifer Lahl
Founder and President of the Center for Bioethics and Culture Network
USA

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
USA

Kajsa Ekis Ekman
author of Being and Being Bought – Prostitution, Surrogacy and the Split Self
Sweden

Jessica Kern
Product of a surrogate pregnancy
USA

Sylviane Agacinski
Feminist philosopher, author of Corps en Miettes
France

Gail Robinson
“Surrogate” Mother
USA

Michel Onfray
Philosopher and Writer
France

Farida Akhter
Women’s rights and health activist
Bangladesh

Tanya Lynn
Surrogate mother
USA

Gary Powell
LGBT activist and public administration campaigner
United Kingdom

Elisa Anne Gomez
Surrogate mother
USA

Donna Hughes
Eleanor M. and Oscar M. Endowed Chair in Women’s Studies, University of Rhode Island
USA

Helen Alvare, J.D.
Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law
USA

Gaëlle Cariati
graduate student in International Relations from University of Calabria
Italy

Julie Bindel,
Writer, author, broadcaster, and feminist campaigner against violence against women and children
United Kingdom

Deborah Hornstra
M.A. Health Advocacy, Sarah Lawrence College
USA

Gertrud Åström
Gender equality expert, feminist activist, president of the Swedish Women’s Lobby
Sweden

Lord David Alton
Member of British Parliament
United Kingdom

Matthew Eppinette
Executive Director, The Center for Bioethics and Culture
USA

Robert Oscar Lopez, Ph.D.
President of the International Children’s Rights Institute
USA

Alana Newman
Founder of The Anonymous Us Project and Advocate for Donor-Conceived People
USA

Charles C. Camosy, Ph.D.
Associate professor of theological and social ethics, Fordham University
USA

Christopher White
Director of Research and Education, The Center for Bioethics and Culture
USA

C. Ben Mitchell, Ph.D.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Graves Professor of Moral Philosophy, Union University
USA

Evan Grae Davis
Filmmaker and director of It’s a Girl
USA

Katy Doran
Donor Conceived Activist
USA

Matt Doran
Founder of the free social network: www.DonorChildren.com
Donor Conceived Advocate Connecting Biological Family and the Community
USA

Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy
Board Member of Adoption Rights Coalition
USA

Jeffrey M. Togman, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Political Science and Film at Seton Hall University Director of the film We’re Not Blood
USA

Cathi Swett, J.D.
Attorney and Adult Adoptee Advocate
USA

Mirah Riben
Author of The Stork Market: America’s Multi-Billion Dollar Unregulated Adoption Industry
USA

Miriam Grossman, M.D.
Adolescent and adult psychiatrist and women’s health activist. Author of Unprotected
and You’re Teaching My Child WHAT?
USA

Melinda Tankard Reist Writer, feminist, activist
Australia

Nkechi Asogwa, M.D.
President, Doctors Health Initiative
Nigeria

Adesuwa Onyenokwe
Publisher and Editor in chiefof TW Magazine(www.twmagazine.net)
Nigeria

Ego Egonu, M.D. Physician, Derry Clinics
Nigeria

Sanjay Khanna
Convener, Socio-Economic Welfare Society
India

Babita Khanna
Gen. Secretary, Socio-Economic Welfare Society
India

Lalit Pasricha
Project Coordinator, Socio-Economic Welfare Society
Canada

Eliette Abécassis
Writer, author of Qumran and La Répudiée, which inspired Amos Gitai’s film Kadosh
France

Johanna Langhorst
Reporter
Sweden

Eberechukwu Okey-Onyema
Executive Director, Healthy Living and Women Empowerment Initiative
Nigeria

Annika Lundegårdh, R.N.
Nurse and President of the Women’s Committee of the Centre Party in Uppsala
Sweden

Nina Björk Author
Sweden

Ebon Kram Chairman
Sweden

Erika Beckman
Chairman, National Organization Against Sexual Abuse
Sweden

Jane Eriksson
Vice-Chairman, National Organization Against Sexual Abuse
Sweden

Yvonne Hirdman
Professor of Women’s History at the Gothenburg University
Sweden

Karin Svensson
Chairwoman, Roks, The National Organization for Women´s Shelter and Young Women´s Shelter
Sweden

Ebba Witt-Brattstrom
Author, Feminist, and Professor in Nordic Literature, University of Helsinki
Finland

Nina Rose, M.D.
Vice President, Swedish Women Doctor’s Society
Sweden

Caroline Norma, Ph.D.
Lecturer in Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University
Australia

Jorunn Friis Reset
Organisational secretary, Women’s Front
Norway

Helen Pringle, Ph.D.
Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences, University of New South Wales
Australia

Seyran Duran
Chairman of the Kurdistan Women’s Association in Sweden
Sweden

Ruth Nordström
President of Scandinavian Human Rights Lawyers
Sweden

Rebecca Ahlstrand
Attorney, Scandinavian Human Rights Lawyers
Sweden

Maria Mies, Ph.D.
Founding member of FINRRAGE (Feminist International Network of Resistance to Reproductive and
Genetic Engineering)
Germany

Shagufta Omar
President, Pakistan Chapter of the International Muslim Women Union General Secretary, Women’s Aid Trust
Pakistan

Mia Fahlén, M.D.
Senior Consultant Surgeon
Sweden

Ana Reis, M.D.
Feminist physician, Former representative of FINRRAGE
Brazil

Viviane Teitelbaum
President, European Women’s Lobby
Belgium

Myfanwy Cummerford
Donor conceived advocate and Founder of TangledWebs
Australia

Isla MacGregor
Tasmanian Public Interest Advocate, Whistleblowers Tasmania
Australia

Simone Andrea
Survivor of Prostitution, Director of NorMAC
Australia

Martine Segalen
Professor Emeritus in Ethnology, Université Paris Ouest
France

Genevieve Couraud
President of the Observatoire Droits des Femmes CG-13 President of ECVF, Politicians Against Violence Against Women
France

Yvette Roudy
Former Minister for Women’s Rights
France

Irene Tabellion
President, La Lune, L’Association Strasbourgeoise de Femmes Homosexuelles
France

Marie-Josèphe Bonnet, Ph.D.
Historian of Women, Arts, and the Second World War
France

Anne-Yvonne Le Dain
Deputy, Socialist Party
France

Elfriede Hammerl
Journalist and Writer
Austria

Nora Tenenbaum
Representative, Coordination of Associations for the Right to Abortion and Contraception
France

Maya Surduts
Representative Coordination of Associations for the Right to Abortion and Contraception
France

Nnenna Chikezie
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development
Nigeria

Alice Schwarzer
Editor of EMMA and co-founder of Mouvement de Liberation des Femmes (MLF)
Germany

Nathalie Heinich
Sociologist and Research director at Le Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
France

Monette Vacquin
Psychoanalyst and author of Frankenstein et les Délires de la Raison and Main Basse sur les Vivants
France

José Bové
Member of the European Parliament (Green Group), Former Chairman of Confederation Paysanne / Via Campesina, and Founding member of ATTAC France
France

Emma Sahlén Grip
Press Officer, National Organization for Women’s and Girls Shelters in Sweden, Roks
Sweden

Arun Dohle
Executive Director of Against Child Trafficking
Germany

Roelie Post
Author of Romania for Export Only: the Untold Story of the Romanian Orphans
The Netherlands

Anjali Pawar
Director, Sakhee Pune
India

Gita Ramaswamy
Concerned activist for child rights
India

Jin Vilsgaard
Contact person for ACT
Denmark

Kat Pinder
Sex trade survivor activist and Member, Amnesty International against pimps and buyers
Australia

Martine Billard
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
France

Gloria Casas Vila
Spanish/Swiss activist against prostitution and surrogacy

Etienne Dujardin
Lawyer
Belgium

Sophie Heine, Ph.D.
Senior Research Fellow at Egmont, Royal Institute for International Relations
Belgium

Josina Kamerling
Head of Regulatory Outreach
Belgium

Michel Ghins
Action for family, President
Belgium

Xavier Lombard
Companies founder
Belgium

Bernard Michelet
Companies administrator
Belgium

Tara Hewitt
LGBT Activist
United Kingdom

Organizational Signatories:

Swedish National Committee for UN Women,
Sweden

Swedish Women Doctor’s Society,
Sweden

Roks, The National Organization for Women´s Shelter and Young Women´s Shelter,
Sweden

Swedish Women’s Lobby,
Sweden

Kurdistan Women’s Association,
Sweden

Women’s Organisation’s Committee on Alcohol and Drug Issues,
Sweden

European Women’s Lobby,
Belgium

LeCorp,
France

La Lune, L’Association Strasbourgeoise de Femmes Homosexuelles,
France

Coordination of Associations for the Right to Abortion and Contraception,
France

Cercle d’Etude de Réformes Féministes (CERF),
France

EMMA, Germany

Against Child Trafficking (ACT),
The Netherlands

Sakhee Pune,
India

The Center for Bioethics and Culture,
USA

FINRRAGE,
Australia

Women’s Bioethics Alliance,
Australia

Scandinavian Human Rights Lawyers,
Norway