CBC on the Road: A Report from Paris, France

by Christopher White, Ramsey Institute Project Director on March 11, 2015

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This week Jennifer Lahl and I represented the CBC in Paris for the introduction of the French translation of our surrogacy documentary, Breeders: A Subclass of Women? (which is also available to watch online). We’re pleased to report that our work and film were greeted with much enthusiasm by the audience of over 600 French women and men who are actively working to maintain their country’s ban on surrogacy.

During Jennifer’s keynote address, she focused on surrogacy’s grave consequences in the United States, and urged our French friends to keep the fight against surrogacy alive.

Film is a powerful medium and effective tool for changing hearts and minds. As Jennifer noted in her speech:

Whether I am showing our film Eggsploitation, which highlights the harms to women who choose to sell their eggs, or Breeders: A Subclass of Women?, our data bears out that audiences, prior to watching these films, tend to know little to nothing about the subject matter. For example, our surveys conducted on audiences before watching Eggsploitation show that people are generally favorable to egg “donation,” even while they admit that they know little about the practice. After watching the film, however, audiences feel much better informed and educated, and overwhelmingly they change their minds against egg donation.

The same is true of audience response to watching Breeders?. They at first think, ‘what could go wrong?’ . . . this is a wonderful way to help another person have a baby. But after watching Breeders?, they oppose surrogacy because of the risks to maternal-child health, the breaking of the important and good maternal-child bonds, and the treatment of women as a breeding class.

It’s thanks to you, our wonderful and always-supportive friends and donors, that we’re able to now provide our French-speaking allies with this resource in their own language. And so we say merci beaucoup for your participation in our shared cause.

During our stay in Paris, we also met with leaders from around the world who are working to stop or prevent surrogacy and the use of other reproductive technologies in their countries. It’s always inspiring for us to hear how much our work has helped them, and we hope it’s of encouragement to you as well.

In a recent interview, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls stated that surrogacy “is and will be banned in France.” Powerful forces are at work trying to prove him wrong. This week, we’re happy to report that we were part of the resistance against those forces. Vive La Résistance!

PS: Below are a few photos from the conference we attended (click photos to enlarge).

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