NJ Gestational Surrogacy bill scheduled Rescheduled for a Vote on Monday, June 26, 2017. Take Immediate Action!

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S1238, a bill that would legalize commercial gestational surrogacy has been scheduled for a vote on Monday, June 26th before the full Senate. (It was originally scheduled for a vote on Monday, 6/22). This bill was twice vetoed by Governor Christie, but that hasn’t stopped the sponsor, Senator Vitale, from trying once again..

Please take action immediately.

Contact your State Senator and 2 Assembly members and urge them to Vote No on S1238. Also contact Governor Christie and thank him for vetoing this bill in the past.  Ask him to veto it again if it reaches his desk.

Find your 3 state legislators HERE   You can also call the Office of Legis Svcs

1 800 792 8630 during regular business hours.

Contact the Governor:  609 292 6000

Email the Governor HERE

 

This bill will lead to the exploitation of women and the commodification of children.  Please read this essay by Harold J. Cassidy, Esq. who was was the lead attorney in the Mary Beth Whitehead surrogacy case and defended many cases on behalf of surrogate mothers who have been harmed by these type of agreements.  Read 

Being an Egg Donor Gave Me Terminal Cancer

When news broke last week that two triplet-bearing surrogate mothers face legal battles with parents who want them to abort one of the fetuses, the spotlight returned to the pressing debate about whether to legalize commercial surrogacy in New York state — which could occur as early as next year. Critics claim that, if allowed, the move would tempt New York women to risk their health by “renting out” their wombs or donating their eggs. Cancer victim Maggie Eastman, a 34-year-old 911 operator from Seattle, is the subject of the documentary “Eggsploitation: Maggie’s Story,” produced by theCenter for Bioethics and Culture network, a watchdog for the rights of surrogates and egg donors. Here she tells Jane Ridley her heartbreaking story about her time as a serial egg donor.

Waking up from the anesthesia, I sleepily ask the nurse how many eggs have just been harvested from my ovaries.

“You lit up like a Christmas tree!” she exclaims, referring to the ultrasound that showed I’d produced more than 20 for that particular retrieval.

Her remark might be crass, but I feel proud — it is good for my reputation as one of the clinic’s most prolific egg donors, helping infertile couples achieve their dream of having children.

Little did I know that this hyperstimulation of my reproductive system — caused by the estrogen injected into my body — was putting my health in jeopardy.

Now, 13 years after the first of my 10 egg retrievals over the span of a decade, I have been diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. It has spread to my bones, lymph nodes and liver. I don’t know how much longer I have to live but, while I’m still on this Earth, I want to warn other young women that egg donation can come at a cost.

My experience began in 2002, when I was studying at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash. I met a woman at a party who worked at a nearby in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinic who said I’d make an ideal egg donor.

Infertility was close to my heart because some longtime friends had struggled with the condition. I loved the idea of helping desperate couples have babies of their own. Though the compensation was hardly a fortune at $1,200 per cycle, the money would help me buy books for school.

Since I was 5-foot-7, slim, well-educated and “traditionally attractive,” the coordinator assured me I was likely to get a call soon.

She was right — within weeks, I was injecting twice-daily hormones into my stomach for around 10 days, followed by a trigger shot to stimulate release of the eggs before retrieval. My ovaries swelled to the size of apples and I put on at least 10 pounds.

My parents were none too happy with my actions. My mom, a teacher, accused me of “selling her grandchildren.” But the matter was never brought up again.

Following a second cycle, I moved to a different IVF center in the Seattle area. It was there that I read a sentence in the paperwork saying that, in the 1970s, it was thought there was a link between fertility drugs and cervical cancer, but that had been proven false.

At the second clinic, I was paid $2,000 each for eight retrievals between spring 2004 and August 2012. I trusted the doctor and never once thought he might be putting me in danger. I’ve since found out that the clinic ignored guidelines by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine recommending a woman should donate eggs no more than six times.

During that period, in November 2007, I married my boyfriend, Jonathan. He was supportive of my decision to continue donating my eggs, and we used the money toward a mortgage down payment — though sadly, we amicably divorced five years later.

Then, in January 2014, at age 32, it was confirmed that a lump in my breast was Stage 4 cancer. I was devastated to hear it had metastasized and, in August 2014, was given a hysterectomy — ironic, since I’d helped create an untold number of babies for strangers but would now never become a mother myself.

My oncologist was baffled because my disease — estrogen-positive, invasive ductal carcinoma — was “unheard of” in women my age and most common among post-menopausal black women.

It was only after news emerged that brain cancer victim Brittany Maynard — who hit the headlines in the fall of 2014 for her “right to die” case — had been an egg donor that I began to explore the link between egg donation and cancer.

Trouble is, since IVF and egg donation is relatively new, this area of medicine is underresearched. (When contacted by The Post, Dr. Charles L. Shapiro, director of translational breast cancer research for Mount Sinai Hospital, said: “The bulk of the literature on this topic says there is no relationship between IVF, hormone priming or egg harvesting and increasing risk of breast cancer … It’s usually not one [factor that causes breast cancer], but a whole host of different circumstances, most of which we don’t know about.” Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Caruso, director of A Bella Baby OBGYN in Chicago and consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture network, says, “High-estrogen states generated artificially for women are potentially putting them at a greater risk for estrogen-related cancers.”)

‘I worry about a growing “breeder class” of women like me.’

 – Maggie Eastman

As the demand for egg donors and surrogates has exploded in the past few years, I worry about a growing “breeder class” of women like me. If New York state legalizes commercial surrogacy, thousands of young women — particularly bright NYC students — might be seduced by the cash incentives and schmaltzy ads urging them to “give the gift of life” by donating their eggs to childless couples.

There’s a certain amount of shame and embarrassment going public in this way — after all, it was my decision to receive payment as a donor — but I don’t believe I gave my informed consent. I feel like I was prostituted and kept in the dark about the possible toll on my health. Any woman considering egg donation needs to step back and ask herself whether it’s worth risking her life.

From The New York Post
© 2015 NYP HOLDINGS, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED |

Update: Governor Christie Vetoes S866/A2648, Gestational Surrogacy legislation a second time.

Unborn Child

Update: On June 29, 2015, Governor Christie vetoed bill S866/A2468, Call and email Governor Christie to thank him for vetoing S866/A2648 a second time.  Governor’s phone: 609 292-6000. Email the Governor here.

Use “Health” as topic and “Family Health” as sub-topic. Please take this action immediately. Thank you.

 

The NJ Assembly passed S866/A2648, the Gestational Surrogacy Bill, on May 14, 2015 by a vote of 43-25-3.  See how your Two Assembly members voted here

The Senate passed the bill previously on February 5, 2015.  See how your State Senator voted here 

Please take the Action stated below.

Background:

On Thursday, March 19, 2015, the Assembly Human Services released Bill S866/A2648 from Committee. The bill already passed the NJ Senate.  See how your State Senator voted here

NJRTL Executive Director Marie Tasy testified against the bill, as did Harold Cassidy, Esq., who is the former member of the NJ Bioethics Commission and Chief Counsel for the Mother in the Baby M Case. Also testifying against the bill was Angelia Gail Robinson, a Gestational Surrogacy mother of twin girls, Cathi Swett, a licensed attorney, and Greg Quinlan of NJ Family First.

The bill passed along partisan lines in the Assembly committee with Democrats voting for it and the two Republicans voting against. Asw. Mosquera (D-4) expressed concerns with the bill after hearing testimony and urged the sponsor to ensure that the issues mentioned are addressed in the bill. For press coverage on the bill: Read

 

Please also visit www.stopsurrogacynow.com campaign to help stop the exploitation of women and children through surrogacy.  Please join and share this link. Thank you.

Action Needed:

 

1.   Email and call Governor Christie. Thank him for vetoing the gestational carrier bill in the past and urge him to veto S866/A2648  once again.

Phone Governor Christie:  609-292-6000

Click on the hyperlink below to email the Governor:

Email the Governor 

 

 

 

Update: S866/A2648, Gestational Carrier bill Passes Narrowly in the Senate by a vote of 21-13. Immediate Action Needed to defeat it in the Assembly!

 

baby being pulledUpdate: The NJ Senate narrowly passed S866 on 2/5/15 by a vote of 21-13.  It was added to the Senate Board List for the 2/5/15 Voting Session at the last minute.  See how your Senator voted Here

It now moves to the Assembly.  Please call and email your 2 State Assembly members and urge them to Vote No on S866/A2648 immediately.  Please share this information with family and friends.

You can send a pre-written message to your 2 Assembly members by going to our Legislative Action Center.

Background on gestational carrier bill

The NJ Senate Health Committee released bill S866 on Monday, January 26, 2015 by a vote of 5-0 with two abstentions. It can be scheduled for a vote at any time before the full Senate. Governor Christie vetoed an identical bill in August of 2012.   Please contact your State Senator and two Assembly members and urge them to Vote No on S866/A2648.

Senate bill sponsors are Senators Joseph Vitale (D-19), Senator Loretta Weinberg (D-37), Senator Brian Stack (D-33 ) and Senator Diane Allen (R-7).  Sponsors in the Assembly are Assemblywoman Valerie Vanieri Huttle (D-37) and Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-20).   The bill passed previously in 2012 by only one vote in both the Senate and Assembly and was vetoed by Governor Christie.

The bill would further advance the profits of a lucrative fertility industry which remains unregulated and would add to the number of embryonic human beings created in IVF labs, experimented on and killed for research purposes and aborted through selective reduction.  The bill will legalize the commodification and exploitation of women, disregarding women’s health, turn pregnancy and the miracle of birth into just another commercial transaction and a baby into a product.  The legislation would permit payment of  “reasonable expenses” to the gestational “carrier,” including “living expenses during her pregnancy including payments for food, clothing, medical expenses, shelter and religious, psychological, vocational or similar counseling services during the pregnancy and during the period of postpartum.”  It also redefines the the meaning of “natural mother” and “biological father” in law, setting the stage for many complex legal, ethical and societal problems.

Read more about this issue here

Take Action:

Contact your two Assembly members and urge them to Vote No on S866/A2648. You can obtain their names and contact information by calling the Office of Legislative Services at 1-800-792-8630 during regular business hours.  You can also find their contact info by visiting the NJ Legislature’s website at the following link:  http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/legsearch.asp

You can also send a pre-written email to them by going to our Legislative Action Center

 

Go to the tab that says “Legislation” on our website to send a pre-written message to your 2 Assembly Members from our Legislative Action Center on S866/A2648.