YES TO THE ITALIAN LAW ON WOMB FOR RENT UNIVERSAL CRIME: THE APPEAL OF ALL THE MAJOR ABOLITIONIST NETWORKS IN THE WORLD
CIAMS, STOP SURROGACY NOW, FINRRAGE, THE JAPAN COALITION and other associations. And together with them eminent figures of international feminism such as SYLVIANE AGACINSKI, GENA COREA and PHYLLIS CHESLER. Who together with us are asking Italian parliamentarians to approve the law which will arrive in the Chamber on June 19th

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Network for the Inviolability of the Female Body, Radfem Italy, FINAARGIT (International feminist network against all artificial reproduction, gender ideology and transhumanism) have always shared the objective ofuniversal abolition of the rented womb.

Together We support the bill on surrogacy which will be debated in the Chamber on June 19th, which extends the punishability of the practice even if carried out in a foreign country and which constitutes a decisive step forward towards universal abolition, offering - if approved - a model for other national legislation and giving greater strength to every possible action by the Italian government in supranational bodies.

We therefore invite parliamentarians from every majority and opposition party to support the bill with their vote in favor regardless of partisan logic and in coherence with the unequivocal judgment of our Constitutional Court according to which surrogacy "it offends the dignity of women in an intolerable way and profoundly undermines human relationships“.

All the major global abolitionist associations join us in asking Italian parliamentarians for a vote in favor, from Europe to Australia, from the USA to Japan:

CIAMS (Coalition Internationale pour l'Abolition de la Maternité de Substitution), Stop Surrogacy Now, Finrrage (Feminist International Network of Resistance to Reproductive and Genetic Engineering), Japan Coalition Against Surrogacy Practices, Feminist Legal Clinic, Prostitution Research & Education they look with hope to this law as an important step forward towards universal abolition.

Some also support our appeal in favor of the law leading figures of world feminism, always committed against the rented womb and the artificial reproduction of humans:

Sylviane Agacinski, philosopher and newly elected member of the Académie Française, author of many essays including Corps en miettes and of L'homme disincarné: Du corps charnel au corps fabriqué.

Gena Korea, American radical feminist intellectual, among the mothers of criticism of the artificial reproduction of humans, collaborator of New York Times and author of many essays including The mother machine: Reproductive Technologies from Artificial Insemination to Artificial Wombs. 

Phyllis Chesler, radical American feminist, psychotherapist and professor emeritus of Psychology and Women's Studies at the College of Staten Island, author of many essays including Sacred Bond: The Legacy of Baby M and of Feminist Backlash is Finally Building Against Surrogacy.

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Gary Powell, European Special Consultant at the Center for Bioethics and Culture Research Fellow for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity at the Bow Group.

Here to follow their appeals in favor of Italian law.

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CIAMS (Coalition Internationale pour l'Abolition de la Maternité de Substitution)

ITALIAN LAW IS A HISTORICAL OCCASION


JENNIFER LAHL for STOP SURROGACY NOW

A STEP FORWARD TOWARDS UNIVERSAL ABOLITION

To whom it may concern,

I strongly support the proposed Italian law that makes surrogacy illegal in the country and closes the loophole that prohibits Italians from going abroad to purchase children born through surrogacy.

Surrogate pregnancies are very high risk for both the mother and the child (or children) she is carrying. It is also well known in the medical literature that children and mothers experience trauma when separated at birth.

Finally, surrogate pregnancies are very expensive and this necessarily leads to the exploitation of poor and low-income women. The rich can afford to buy children and those in financial need are the ones who take these risks to earn money.

If Italy approves this bill, it will be a positive step forward in abolishing this global child trading market and will set an example to the world that women are not for rent and children are not for sale.

Best regards,
Jennifer Lahl

Jennifer Lahl, MA, BSN, RN
President and founder of The Center for Bioethics and Culture e
Leader of the international campaign Stop Surrogacy Now

(Translation by Chiara G.)


FINRRAGE

WE SUPPORT WITH WHOLE HEART

To those interested,

FINRRAGE (Australia) wholeheartedly supports the Italian government's proposed law which will make the use of surrogacy abroad a crime for Italian citizens, punishable with heavy fines.
It will be important for Immigration Services to enforce these sanctions. Similar laws in two Australian states, New South Wales and Queensland, and in the ACT Territory are not enforced and so-called commissioning parents continue to return with children from overseas countries and are allowed to enter Australia without having to pay any fine (or go to prison, as required by legislation).
Surrogacy is a violation of human rights and an exploitation of the birth mother, the egg donor and the child who never asked to be a takeaway child. It violates the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child and must be abolished internationally.

Best regards,
Dr. Renate Klein
Coordinator, FINRRAGE (Australia)

(Translation by Valentina Aquenne)


JAPAN COALITION AGAINST SURROGACY PRACTICES

THANKS TO THOSE WHO DRAFTED THIS LAW

I, the chair of Japan Coalition Against Surrogacy Practices, strongly support the bill in Italy which regards all surrogacy including international cases as a crime.

Due to the serious cultural discrimination against women in Asian culture, we, Asian women, receive continuous messages from society to sacrifice and utilize our own entities. Asian women are still targeted to be surrogate mother internationally, even after some countries ban it. We are continually menaced to be used by the others.

Once the Italian government passes the new bill to penalize all clients of international surrogacy – this must definitively contribute to the cessation of spreading this new form of exploitation of women.

I would express my gratitude to the people who wrote this bill, and to the Italian government which takes this issue most seriously. 

Yoshie Yanagihara (PhD)

Chair of Japan Coalition Against Surrogacy Practices

Professor, Tokyo Denki University, Visiting Fellow at Yale University

Author of “The practice of surrogacy as a phenomenon of 'bare life': An analysis of the Japanese case applying Agamben's theory”(Current Sociology) awarded “Sociologist of the Month” by the International Sociological Association, 2021.

I, president of the Japan Coalition Against Surrogacy Practices, strongly support the Italian bill that considers all cases of surrogacy as a crime, including international ones.
Due to the severe cultural discrimination against women in Asian culture, we, Asian women, receive constant messages from society asking us to sacrifice and exploit ourselves. Asian women are still targeted to become surrogate mothers internationally, even after some countries banned it. We are continually under the threat of being used by others.

Once the Italian government has approved the new law that sanctions all clients of international surrogacy, this will definitively contribute to stopping the spread of this new form of exploitation of women.

I would like to express my gratitude to the people who wrote this bill and to the Italian government who takes this issue very seriously.

Yoshie Yanagihara (PhD)

President of the Japanese Coalition against Surrogacy Practices

Professor, Denki University of Tokyo, Visiting Fellow at Yale University

Author of “The practice of surrogacy as a phenomenon of 'bare life': An analysis of the Japanese case applying Agamben's theory”, published on Current Sociology and awarded “Sociologist of the Month” by the International Sociological Association, 2021.

(Translation by Chiara G.)


FEMINIST LEGAL CLINIC

“A LAW AGAINST THE MARKETING OF CHILDREN”

Feminist Legal Clinic Inc. supports measures to stop the commodification of babies, including making surrogacy unlawful globally. It is good to hear that Italy is strengthening and extending its laws in this regard as no nation can be regarded as upholding the human rights of women and children while it allows a trade in babies to continue.

Anna Kerr, Principal Solicitor Feminist Legal Clinic

Feminist Legal Clinic Inc. supports measures to stop the commodification of children, including proposals to make surrogacy illegal globally. It is good to know that Italy is strengthening and expanding its laws on this matter, as no nation can be considered capable of upholding the human rights of women and children if it allows child trafficking to continue.

Anna Kerr, lead lawyer at the Feminist Legal Clinic

(Translation by Valentina Aquenne)


PROSTITUTION RESEARCH & EDUCATION

“THE ITALIAN LAW WILL OBSTACLE THE BUSINESS”

To the members of the Italian Parliament,

I support the bill that holds accountable those who engage in the harmful practice of surrogacy, wherever this business is conducted. The proposed law is based on the awareness that the commodification and reproductive exploitation of women is a global business. A law punishing international surrogacy traffickers outside Italy would expand Italy's protections for economically and ethnically vulnerable women by preventing surrogacy entrepreneurs and buyers of rented wombs from transferring simply a woman whose uterus has been rented to a country that has no legal protections against the exploitation and abuse of surrogacy. By discouraging the sale of children, the law would also protect children born through surrogacy. Thank you for this bill. It will help us in the United States follow your example of protecting the human rights of women and children.

Best regards,

Melissa Farley, PhD, executive director of Prostitution Research & Education

(Translation by Valentina Aquenne)


SYLVIANE AGACINSKI

“MY FULL SUPPORT AGAINST THE EXPLOITATION OF WOMEN IN THE WORLD”

Hello, if you want to say my best in this new loi, here you will penalize the GPA practiced by the stranger, you will sign it well. 

Protéger les Européennes et acheter des femmes à l'étranger, c'est entretenir leur exploitation dans le monde. 

Friendly Sylviane Agacinski

Today, if it comes to giving my support to this new law, which would make the practice of GPA abroad criminally punishable, I will obviously sign it.

Protecting European women and continuing to buy women abroad means maintaining their exploitation around the world.

Kind regards, Sylviane Agacinski
(Translation by Andrea)


GENA KOREA

“ITALY ON THE FRONTLINE AGAINST THE WOMB FOR RENT”

Since surrogacy is a severe violation of the human rights of women used as breeders, and of babies treated as commodities, I strongly support the proposed bill in Italy which would put effective controls on citizens traveling abroad to purchase babies born of surrogacy. Stiff fines would be levied on those purchasing babies abroad and purchasing the reproductive use of women's bodies to fulfill their desires. Once passed, this bill would place Italy at the forefront of world-wide efforts to abolish surrogacy. I am grateful to those who wrote this important human rights bill to end trafficking in women and babies.

Gena Korea

Author, The Mother Machine: Reproductive Technologies from Artificial Insemination to the Artificial Womb

Author, “Junk Liberty.” in Towards the Abolition of Surrogate Motherhood 

Author, ”The Surrogate Mother Industry Exploits Women” in Science and Technology: Opposing Viewpoints.

Since surrogacy is a serious violation of the human rights of women, used as broodmares, and of children, treated as goods, I strongly support the proposed Italian law which provides for effective controls on citizens who go abroad to purchase born children from surrogacy. Severe sanctions would be imposed on those who purchase children abroad and who purchase the reproductive use of women's bodies to satisfy their desires. Once passed, this bill would place Italy at the forefront of global efforts to abolish surrogacy. I am grateful to those who wrote this important bill to protect human rights and end the trafficking of women and children.

Gena Korea

Author of The Mother Machine: Reproductive technologies from artificial insemination to the artificial womb; “Rubbish Freedom” in Towards the abolition of surrogacy, “The Surrogate Mother Industry Exploits Women” in Science and technology: Opposing points of view.

(Translation by Valentina Aquenne)


PHYLLIS CHESLER

“A DECISIVE STEP TOWARDS UNIVERSAL ABOLITION”

I strongly support the proposed bill in Italy which, if enforced, will financially penalize all those Italians who buy babies abroad via surrogacy—except for the super-rich who may still be able to afford the fine. Any newborn separated from their birthmother is an adopted child and as such subject to whatever psychological challenges adopted children face. Any birthmother—even by choice and for money—is also subject to whatever medical, psychological, and psychiatric challenges that all mothers face. A human being is not a commodity to be bought and sold and womankind is not a commodity to be strip mined and discarded. This bill is an important step towards the abolition of surrogacy globally.

Dr. Phyllis Chesler

Psychologist, the author of 20 books, including SACRED BOND. THE LEGACY OF BABY M

I strongly support the proposed law in Italy which, if implemented, will financially penalize all Italians who acquire children abroad through surrogacy – except for the super-rich who could still afford the fine. Every newborn separated from their mother is an adopted child and as such is subject to all the psychological “challenges” that adopted children face. Every mother – whether she is a mother by choice or by money – is also subject to the psychological, psychiatric and medical “challenges” that all mothers face. A human being is not a commodity to be bought and sold and a woman is not a commodity to be "extracted" from and then discarded. This law is an important step towards abolishing surrogacy globally.

Dr. Phyllis Chesler
Psychologist, author of 20 books, including “Sacred Bond. Baby M's legacy.”

(Translation by Maria Celeste)


GARY POWELL

“AS A GAY AND HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST I SAY YES TO THE ITALIAN LAW”

It is most heartening to learn that the Italian Parliament is to discuss the criminalization of surrogacy tourism: the actions of those who go abroad to pursue commercial surrogacy in order to circumvent the legal prohibitions on surrogacy in Italy.

For several years I have been campaigning against all forms of surrogacy for all people. It is a practice that exploits low-income women and subjects them to medical, psychological, and financial risks, and that also risks physical and psychological harm to surrogacy-progenerated children.

It is a practice that is even worse than the sale of organs by living donors: a practice that is rightly criminalized worldwide, with the sole exception of Iran. Just as it would always be the poor who sell their kidneys to the wealthy, it is always low-income women, who may need to pay off debts or loans, and who may also be under duress from controlling partners, who rent out their wombs to the wealthy. In the case of both organ sales and commercial surrogacy, the donor puts her health and life at risk. In both cases the result is the establishment or reinforcement of an economic hierarchy of privilege founded on a risk to physical and psychological integrity of a kind that no civilized modern society should tolerate.

There are two stark differences between organ sales and commercial surrogacy, however. People will die as a result of not being able to buy a kidney, whereas no one will die as a result of not being able to buy a baby; and, in the case of selling kidneys, the object being sold is a human organ, whereas in surrogacy, it is a child with his or her own inviolable human rights. Despite these two differences that make surrogacy an even greater human rights violation than living human organ sales, there is today a push to legalese and expand commercial surrogacy, whereas the legalization of living organ sales is almost globally condemned as unethical and tends to be promoted only by economic ultra-libertarians.

Although commercial surrogacy is supposed to be illegal in the UK, commissioning parents are still able to pay for surrogacy-progenerated babies abroad and bring them back to the UK, given that the courts operate according to a principle of favoring the “best interests” of the child, even where a law has been broken or immigration procedures not followed. This “best interests” principle means that, in the UK, surrogacy tourism has become a popular gateway for wealthy individuals and couples. Furthermore, our Law Commission recommends that no parents be prosecuted under surrogacy legislation lest it result in a cloud overhanging the child who has been progenerated in this way. Surrogacy law in the UK is therefore a paper tiger.

It would therefore be a boost to those of us campaigning against this commercial surrogacy tourism loophole in the UK and elsewhere if the Italian government were to impose robust criminal sanctions on those who go abroad to seek surrogacy arrangements. In the UK there is a precedent for prosecuting those who carry out actions abroad that constitute crimes in the UK: those who commit child sex abuse abroad can be prosecuted in the UK under Section 72 of the Sexual Offenses Act 2003 on their return. The same criminal sanctions should apply to those who go abroad for the purposes of commercial surrogacy.

In my view it would be helpful if the Italian Parliament were to consider imposing sanctions that include imprisonment as well as heavy fines. My reason for this is my belief that, for a number of people, having children via commercial surrogacy is regarded as having a strong cachet simply as a demonstration of social prestige associated with wealth, and I suspect that a number of very wealthy people would not only be willing to pay a large fine, but would regard it as yet another opportunity to demonstrate to the world how wealthy they were and how determined they were to flout the law. The risk of prison sentences would be a completely different matter and should provide a proper deterrent for such people.

Furthermore, I believe that it should be made impossible for surrogacy tourists to transport the babies back into their home countries, and that the law should make the commissioning parents liable to provide financial support for the child until he or she reaches the age of eighteen in the country where he or she was born, where the child should be put up for adoption. The commissioning parents should be made fully financially and morally responsible for their unethical actions, and the practice of commercial surrogacy tourism should be associated with very strong deterrents if it is to be stopped.

Finally, it is now the case that commercial surrogacy is being promoted particularly strongly by the LGBT+ lobby as a means by which same-sex male couples, and infertile transgender-identified couples, can form a family. Although I support the adoption of children by suitable same-sex couples who pass normal stringent local authority vetting procedures, I am strongly opposed to the contention that surrogacy is ever an appropriate means for anyone, gay or straight, to have children. There is no “human right” or “LGBT+ right” to be a parent, and no demographic group can claim to have an inalienable right that seriously harms the rights of other groups: in this case, of women and children. I make this assertion as a gay man who has been involved in campaigning for fair treatment of lesbian and gay people for over forty years; and in recent years, I am seeing the reputation of gay people, and the rights for which we have fought, seriously damaged by the association with commercial surrogacy and with misogynistic and homophobic LGBT+ gender ideology.

It should also be noted that the gender ideology lobby, in its shameful and inexcusable attempts to persuade children they were born in the wrong body, is likely to create large cadres of sterilized and infertile transgender-identified people who have undergone puberty-blockers and cross -sex hormones, and these individuals will also increase the demand for commercial surrogacy that is being promoted by a greedy, manipulative, and sociopathic multi-billion-dollar global surrogacy industry.

As a gay man, and as a human rights campaigner, I condemn the practice of surrogacy tourism unequivocally, and I commend those politicians in Italy who will argue for the imposition of strong sanctions on those who go abroad to carry out dangerous and exploitative practices that they are unable to effect at home.

Gary Powell

European Special Consultant at the Center for Bioethics and Culture

Research Fellow for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity at the Bow Group.

It is very encouraging to learn that the Italian Parliament will discuss the criminalization of surrogacy tourism: the actions of those who travel abroad to pursue commercial surrogacy in order to circumvent the legal prohibitions on surrogacy in Italy.

For several years I have been fighting against any form of surrogacy for all people. It is a practice that exploits low-income women and subjects them to medical, psychological and financial risks, and which puts children produced by surrogacy at risk of physical and psychological harm.

It is an even worse practice than the sale of organs from living donors, which is rightly criminalized around the world, with the sole exception of Iran. Just as it is always the poor who sell their kidneys to the rich, it is always the low-income women, who may need to pay debts or loans and who may also be forced by controlling partners, to rent their womb to the rich . In both the case of organ sales and commercial surrogacy, the donor puts her health and life at risk.

In both cases the result is the creation or reinforcement of an economic hierarchy of privilege based on a risk to physical and psychological integrity that no modern, civilized society should tolerate.
However, there are two key differences between organ sales and commercial surrogacy. You can die from the lack of a kidney, but you don't die from not being able to buy a child. Furthermore, in the case of kidney sales, the object sold is a human organ, while in surrogacy it is a child with his inviolable human rights. Despite these differences that make surrogacy an even more serious human rights violation than the sale of living human organs, today there is a push to legalize and expand commercial surrogacy, while the legalization of the sale of living organs is condemned almost globally as immoral and tends to be promoted only by economic ultra-libertarians.

Although commercial surrogacy would theoretically be illegal in the UK, intended parents can still pay to have surrogacy babies born abroad and brought back to the UK, as the courts operate on the principle of “best interests”. ” of the child, even in violation of a law or immigration procedures. This “best interests” principle means that surrogacy tourism has become a popular gateway for wealthy individuals and couples in the UK. Furthermore, our Law Commission recommends that no parent should be prosecuted under surrogacy legislation, to avoid a shadow being cast on the child who has been fathered in this way. Surrogacy law in the UK is therefore a “paper tiger”.

It would therefore be a boost for those campaigning against this loophole in commercial surrogacy tourism in the UK and elsewhere if the Italian government imposed tough criminal sanctions on those who travel abroad to seek surrogacy arrangements. There is precedent in the UK for prosecuting those who carry out actions abroad which constitute criminal offenses in the UK: those who commit child sexual abuse abroad can be prosecuted in the UK under section 72 of the Sexual Offenses Act 2003 at their return. The same criminal sanctions should be applied to those who travel abroad to carry out commercial surrogacy.

In my opinion, it would be useful for the Italian Parliament to consider the possibility of imposing sanctions that include imprisonment as well as heavy fines. I am convinced that for many people having children through commercial surrogacy has a strong value, simply as a demonstration of the social prestige associated with wealth, and I suspect that some very wealthy people would not only be willing to pay a large fine, but would view it as a 'further opportunity to show the world how rich they are and how determined they are to break the law. The risk of prison sentences would be an entirely different matter and should provide an adequate deterrent for these people.

Furthermore, I believe that surrogacy tourists should be prevented from transporting children to their home countries and that the law should make the commissioning parents responsible for the financial support of the child until he or she reaches the age of eighteen in the country in which was born, where the child should be given up for adoption. Intending parents should be made fully financially and morally responsible for their immoral actions, and the practice of commercial surrogate tourism should be associated with very strong deterrents if it is to be stopped.

Finally, commercial surrogacy is now promoted particularly strongly by the LGBT+ lobby as a means of enabling male same-sex couples and infertile transgender couples to form a family. While I support the adoption of children by eligible same-sex couples who pass the normal and rigorous vetting procedures of local authorities, I strongly oppose the idea that surrogacy is an appropriate means for anyone, gay or straight, to have children . There is no “human right” or “LGBT+ right” to be a parent, and no demographic group can claim to have an inalienable right that seriously harms the rights of other groups: in this case, women and children. I make this statement as a gay man who has been fighting for fair treatment of lesbian and gay people for over forty years; and in recent years I see the reputations of gay people, and the rights we have fought for, seriously damaged by association with commercial surrogacy and the misogynistic and homophobic ideology of LGBT+ gender identity.

It should also be noted that the gender ideology lobby, in its shameful and unforgivable attempts to persuade children that they are born in the wrong body, will likely create large cohorts of sterilized and infertile transgender-identifying people who have subjected themselves to puberty blockers and hormones of the opposite sex, and these individuals will also increase the demand for commercial surrogacy that is promoted by a greedy, manipulative and sociopathic multi-billion dollar global industry.

As a homosexual and as a human rights activist, I unequivocally condemn the practice of surrogacy tourism and congratulate Italian politicians who will call for the imposition of strong sanctions on those who travel abroad to carry out dangerous and exploitative practices which they are unable to implement at home.

Gary Powell
Special Advisor for Europe at the Center for Bioethics and Culture
Sexual orientation and gender identity researcher at the Bow Group.
(Translation by Maria Celeste)


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