Pleasant Hill, CA/January 13, 2014 — Jennifer Lahl and The Center for Bioethics and Culture, producers of the award-winning Eggsploitation (2010) and Anonymous Father’s Day (2011), announce the release of their new documentary, Breeders: A Subclass of Women? (2014).
Women renting their wombs and giving birth to children for immediate delivery to other adults—such as infertile or same sex couples or single adults—have emerged as a distinct class of commercial provider. Women working as surrogates, while frequently motivated to help others wanting a family, are typically paid for their gestational services, most often subject to the terms of commercial contract. Informal agreements can unexpectedly become legal disputes, the outcomes of which are fast defining surrogates as a subclass of women.
Breeders: A Subclass of Women? shares the stories of four women, and the unexpected consequences and heart-wrenching emotions as they are deprived of their maternal identity and personal autonomy in compensated service to people of greater means.
As the stories of these four women unfold through interviews and commentary, the reflections and opinions of a wide range of industry professionals and feminists are interspersed.
Is the substance of a family simply a matter of love? Or is there a natural and beneficial gestational bond between child and mother? Is surrogacy a “gift of life” or a commodification of women’s bodies and newborns? How does the paid, contracted production of newborns impact their lives? Why do laws regulating surrogacy vary so widely in different states and countries? Are the best interests of the child truly considered in these adult-focused transactions?
Diane Beeson, Professor Emerita of Sociology at California State University says about Breeders:
The fascinating documentary raises urgent issues for humanity that transcend existing political divisions. It explores the ramifications of the market’s intrusion into women’s bodies and its inevitable undermining of bodily integrity, human dignity, and autonomy. The film exposes commercial surrogacy’s devaluation of the bond of human gestation and some of the tragic consequences of the deliberate destruction of the primal relationship between newborns and their mothers. Thankfully, the film promises to stimulate a long-overdue expansion of the public debate on this topic.
Showings of the documentary begin with the world premiere on January 27, 2014 at Washburn University Memorial Union in Topeka, Kansas. Viewings are scheduled throughout 2014 in numerous locations. Check the schedule at breeders.cbc-network.org for a screening location near you.
What People Are Saying
Breeders dares to go where few documentaries have . . . a strong dose of reality and compassion could be salvaged by watching this film.
— Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy, writer, speaker, activist
. . . overwhelms you with the human consequences of a trade in human beings.
— Helen M. Alvare, Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law
Anyone who cares about women, about children, and about human dignity should watch this film . . .
— Russell D. Moore, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
Eye-opening . . .
— Melinda Henneberger, Washington Post
A must-see film for all those who care about women and human rights.
— Hedva Eyal, Medical Technologies Policy Researcher and feminist activist, Israel
Breeders takes a hard look at the often unacknowledged bioethical complexities, and individual and societal risks, associated with the global rise of commercial surrogacy
— Miriam Zoll, author of Cracked Open: Liberty, Fertility and the Pursuit of High-Tech Babies