What’s wrong with surrogacy: Recordings of the webinar

This page provides access to pre-recordings (and links to transcripts) of the talks from our ‘What’s wrong with surrogacy?’ webinar that was held on 6 September 2020, along with practical ideas for how you can push back against the Law Commission’s proposals.

This webinar aimed to balance the one-sided picture of surrogacy that is mainly provided in the mainstream media with a feminist analysis and a look at the risks and abuses that can be involved. We also provided a brief overview of the proposals the UK Law Commission put forward in its public consultation last year and consider what they might mean for women and children.

We were absolutely blown away the day after the webinar when Bec Wonders sent us a visualisation of the webinar, as small section of which you can see above. Click the image to see the entire visualisation in a new window.

Heather Harvey

Heather is currently the research and development manager at Nia. She has worked on violence against women and girls both here in the UK and overseas in public and NGO sectors for over 20 years. A particular focus of her research has been on women’s experiences of prostitution.

Nia responded to the Law Commission’s consultation on surrogacy and looked at the range of actual and potential abuses and exploitation involved in existing and proposed surrogacy models and particularly the inequalities inherent in the proposals and this formed the body of her discussion.

For a transcript of this talk, see What are we talking about when we talk about surrogacy?

Elizabeth Purslow

Liz was a midwife for twenty years and now works as an NHS nurse. Instinctively against surrogacy – pregnancy and childbirth are a profound experience for women, emotional, physical, spiritual, painful – it changes you forever, body and mind. It is not a service to provide for others. And babies!!! They are special little individual people, not to be bought, sold or gift wrapped and handed to a best friend.

In her talk, Liz discussed the health risks to women, the implications for the NHS, dealing with complex pregnancies, and the potential for conflicts of interest and safeguarding problems.

For a transcript of this talk, see Medical risks of surrogacy and egg harvesting.

Anna Fisher

Anna is the current chair of Nordic Model Now! and last year led the group’s project to provide template responses to the Law Commission’s surrogacy consultation with the aim of making it easier for people who were concerned to respond.  In her talk she gave a brief overview of the proposals the Law Commission put forward in the consultation and some of the grave concerns they throw up.

For a transcript of this talk, see: The Law Commissioners’ Key Proposals for Surrogacy Law Reform in the UK.

Lexi

Lexi heard about the Law Commission’s proposed reforms through Mumsnet. After reading the proposals she decided to find out more and submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request. Her presentation talks through that process and what she found out.

For a transcript of this talk, see What FOI requests revealed about the Law Commission’s surrogacy consultation.

What you can do to resist

1. If you live in the UK, consider writing to your MP. Writing your own letter in your own words is the most effective, but we have a template letter you can use, which makes it very easy: Ask your MP to take action on the Law Commission’s surrogacy proposals.

2. Raise awareness! We have a lot of information on this website about surrogacy in general and the Law Commission’s proposals for surrogacy law reform in the UK. Consider sharing some of these articles on social media.

3. Consider sharing the recordings of this webinar with your friends. Consider subscribing to our YouTube channel.

4. Consider joining the new single-issue activist group that Lexi mentioned in her talk. Until their public presence is up and running, you can contact us and we will pass on your message to Lexi and the other organisers. Nordic Model Now! is also always looking for new members.

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