Who are we?
The International Coalition for the Abolition of Surrogate Motherhood (ICASM) is a coalition of feminist and human rights organizations, founded in 2018 to fight against reproductive exploitation. It pursues this goal with its 50 member organizations working in 14 countries (France, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Austria, Romania, Ukraine, Sweden, United Kingdom, Canada, Colombia, Australia, Japan, South Korea) and with partner organizations and activists working locally and across borders to end the reproductive exploitation of women and the commodification of girls and boys organized by an industry that has grown to be worth billions of dollars in the last decade.
ICASM was established to demystify the media narrative that falsely portrays this practice as a beneficial advance, to expose its hidden reality, and to counter institutional and legislative attempts to organize the use of surrogacy, in particular the work of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) on “Parentage in the Context of Surrogacy”.
Organizing internationally around feminist values was an obvious choice. We needed to bring together, link and focus all the forces already engaged in this struggle at the local level. The success of the international conference held in Paris in February 2016, entitled “for the global abolition of reproductive exploitation”, showed that this initiative was possible and even desirable. Two years later, ICASM, an international structure under French law, was created to lead this universal movement.
Surrogacy raises serious ethical and human rights concerns. It attacks vulnerable women, depriving them of their dignity and bodily autonomy. It puts their lives and health at risk. It treats children as objects taken from their biological mothers, undermining their rights and their psychological, emotional and physical well-being. Surrogacy reinforces the patriarchal view of women as passive recipients of reproduction, commercializes their wombs in the name of a pseudo “choice”, and deprives them of their inalienable human rights by organizing their voluntary servitude under the guise of “consent”.
Mission and Vision
As feminists, we believe that surrogacy should be recognised in international instruments and treaties as violence against women and human trafficking.
Our mission is to make politicians and decision-makers aware of the reality of reproductive exploitation and how the surrogacy industry, under the guise of progress, diversity and inclusion, reinforces gender inequality and undermines social justice. We need to convince them that the political value today lies in abolishing the use of this practice, not in organizing it in any way.
It is also up to us to inform the general public about the criminal reality of this practice, which is obscured by a media that is primarily focused on defending the buyers and is completely ignorant and blind to its pernicious consequences for women and children.
Our vision is of a world where women’s reproductive capacity and children’s lives are not commodities, where human rights and the dignity of all people are more important than profit.
Goals and objectives
Our strategic objectives are:
- Enact national legislation and international instruments prohibiting the use of surrogacy in all its forms.
- To dismantle exploitative reproductive structures
- To change public attitudes and policies towards girls, boys and women who are victims of surrogacy.
- To build and develop a strong international coalition of feminist and human rights forces.
- Using feminist critique in all our work and actions.
- Conducting high-impact campaigns aimed at the general public, politicians and public decision-makers.
- Produce and publish critical research and analysis, compile and collate existing data.
- Exposing industry propaganda and manipulation
- Attracting media attention to counter the dominant discourses in favor of reproductive gestation
- Raise public awareness through education and media engagement
- To give voice to surrogates and surrogate children
- Encourage international cooperation and knowledge sharing for the purpose of abolition.
- To encourage and promote policies and legislation aimed at the abolition of surrogacy.