What Justice Kennedy Failed to Mention

by Jennifer Lahl, CBC President on June 29, 2015

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Dear Friend of the CBC:

Just a few hours after Friday’s decision from the Supreme Court allowing for same-sex marriage in all fifty states, an article in the Los Angeles Times lamented that “marriage equality doesn’t immediately or necessarily erase cultural and legal attachments to biological, dual-gender parenting.”

Translation: those of us concerned with assisted reproductive technologies and their very real harms to both women and children need to simply rid ourselves of such quaint “attachments.” For the author, the battle for true equality won’t be won until there’s an equal right to children that’s enshrined in the law, as well.

Over the past decade, the Center for Bioethics and Culture has led the fight for women and children in the space of assisted reproduction. We have taken a consistent, principled stand that no one—gay, straight, single, or married—has a right to a child. And we’re not backing down now.

According to the author of the L.A. Times article, those states that prohibit the practice of surrogacy are engaged in the business of exclusion. The desire for same-sex couples to have children through these practices must now be recognized as well.

As our work has clearly illustrated, the debate over assisted reproduction is almost always about the desires of adults and never about the needs of the children created from these methods.

In recent years, a massive media narrative has been constructed in an attempt to show that children created from various reproductive arrangements are happy and live full, satisfied lives. Even Justice Kennedy declared that a “basis for protecting the right to marry is that it safeguards children and families.”

But here’s what Justice Kennedy and the media fail to mention:

  • Children born through assisted reproduction are more likely to suffer from low birth weights (and are at heightened risk of other medical complications).
  • Surrogacy often depends on the exploitation of poorer women. Such unequal transactions result in “uninformed” consent, low payments, coercion, poor health care, and severe risks to their short- and long- term health.
  • Children conceived through assisted reproduction often suffer genealogical bewilderment, as they long for a connection to their biological parent.

The Center for Bioethics and Culture is committed to telling the other side of these stories and making these facts known—regardless of how politically incorrect these truths may be.

But we need your help. More than ever, the tide is against us. Can you help us put an end to the creation of a market for the buying and selling of children? Can you help us protect women?

For a one-time gift of $50 or more, you will receive one of our films on assisted reproduction (Eggsploitation, Anonymous Father’s Day, or Breeders: A Subclass of Women?) For $100 or more, we’ll send you all three.


Jennifer Lahl

I need your help now more than ever

The Center for Bioethics and Culture is a non-profit 501(c)(3) public benefit educational organization. All gifts are tax-deductible.

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