Talk to your children
1. How do you think moms feel about their children?
2. Do you think it would be good to pay a mom to have a baby for somebody else?
3. Why is it important to respect our bodies and other’s bodies?
Talk to family members and friends
Consequences of ART
1. Have you ever thought about there being negative consequences associated with surrogacy and the various medical technologies that people use to get a baby?
Violation of Rights
1. Did you know that the fertility industry is violating the rights of women and children and making a huge profit from it?
Motivating Forces of ART
1. Does the fact that surrogates and egg donors are usually compensated financially make it ethical? What are some other parallels where women use their bodies for financial gain?
2. What is the biggest motivator for women to donate their eggs or to become a surrogate mother? Altruism or money?
Engage the Broader Community
Share What You've Learned
1. Speak up. Find opporunities to share and inform those around you. One great way that is simple is to share an article about the issues surrounding egg and sperm “donation” and surrogacy. This could either be through a text, email, or on a social media platform.
1. Support efforts to institute an independent regulatory body able to enforce policies enacted on reproductive technology and third party reproduction.
Support Responsible Laws
1. Watch for and support laws that would ban commercial (“for pay”) egg procurement and surrogacy. If that is not possible, support laws that:
* Regulate egg procurement and surrogacy ad placement and content to include prominent disclaimers and health warnings, just as on cigarette packages and alcohol labels directed at pregnant women.
* Remove anonymity and require birth certificates to reflect the biological father and mother.
* Require fertility clinics to collect, maintain, and release donor files, upon request.
* Encourage peer-reviewed medical research of short- and long-term consequences of egg harvesting and surrogacy on the health of women who are suppliers/providers.
* Prohibit anonymous sperm and egg donation.
Assisted Reproductive Technology: The Impact on Women
In many countries and jurisdictions, most notably in Europe, commercial egg “donation” and surrogacy are not legal. But in the United States there is no national regulation on these assisted reproductive technologies. The fifty states constitute a patchwork quilt of policies and laws, ranging from outright bans to no regulations.
Human Beings for Sale: In a “for pay” surrogacy contract, the child, eggs, and sperm are reduced to commodities, being bought and sold on the market like lettuce and tomatoes. Surrogacy is a $30 billion a year industry, reaping HUGE profits for the parties involved.
Coercion In the Form of Need: Egg donation and surrogacy prey on women who are in financial need. These women are willing to take on risks to their physical and emotional health in order to obtain monetary relief for their financial situations.
Mothers for Sale: The commercial surrogacy industry reduces the bond between a mother and child (which should be about love) to a cash transaction. And now many transactions happen across international lines, with mothers in third world countries living on “baby farms” to produce children for overseas donors. These mothers experience many negative consequences, including postpartum depression.
“Easy for you to say; you haven’t walked in my shoes.” (Dismissal of objections to Assisted Reproductive Technologies [ART]): Maybe we are not walking in their shoes, but are they walking in the shoes of children born through surrogacy or are donor concieved? Are they walking in the shoes of women who experience negative emotional and physical health consequences because of ART?
Fulfilling one woman’s dream should not come at the expense of another woman’s health.
Women pregnant with donor eggs have a more than a three-fold risk of developing pregnancy-induced hypertension and pre-eclampsia.
Risks to women associated with egg retrieval include: Ovarian Hyper Stimulation syndrome (OHSS) due to super ovulation, loss of fertility, ovarian torsion, stroke, kidney disease, premature menopause, ovarian cysts, and in some rare cases, death.
Because of the high costs associated with surrogacy, multiple embryos are often implanted in the surrogate mother. This leads to increased risk of caesarian sections and longer hospital stays. In addition, researchers warn: “Multiple pregnancies are associated with maternal and perinatal complications such as gestational diabetes, fetal growth restriction, and pre-eclampsia as well as premature birth.”
Social Media Resources
Help Spread the Word
The Art of Persuasion
How do you persuade decision makers to see things your way? Here’s a key: Decision makers will respond to the groups they feel responsible and accountable to. Your job is to persuade that decision maker to see that your policy recommendation, proposed law, or desired change is supported by a large group of constituents. The issue needs to be compelling, elicit sympathy, and to be winnable/doable. The decision maker needs to feel he/she will be perceived as good. Above all, the art of persuasion is one of building trust.
Persuasive speaking – and writing – follows this basic formula:
1. Tell a story, preferably a personal one (Story of Me).
2. Tell why your story or experience matters to those in your audience (Story of Us).
3. Explain what we are all going to do together – action or needed outcome (Story of Now).
“People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of others.” -Blaise Pascal