Elizabeth Banks on surrogacy: “I’m still judged”

Hollywood actress Elizabeth Banks has always been open about how her children were born via surrogacy. But in a recent interview with Porter Magazine, she opened up about how she still feels judged by her body choices. “I definitely think I’m still judged for what I’ve done and that people don’t understand my choices, but I don’t feel I owe anybody any explanation.” 

Banks and her husband, Max Handelman, have two sons—Felix and Magnus, who were both born via a surrogate. In 2012, Banks told Lucky Magazine that inviting a person into your life to such an important thing for you is a big leap. “Our surrogate is so extraordinary, and she’s still in our lives. She’s like an auntie.” 

Surrogacy has become a popular choice in Hollywood in recent years. Celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Kardashian West have opened up about having a surrogate. But what does using a surrogate really mean? According to Family Education, in a traditional surrogate situation, the woman who carries the baby is also biologically the baby’s mother. They may use donor sperm or the sperm of the father to fertilize the egg. But the biological mother is not going to play a role in the baby’s life. Meanwhile, gestational surrogates have “no biological relation to the baby they’re carrying. They are merely carriers for the biological child of the parents.” 

Banks, who has such a successful career as an actor and director (most recently of the new “Charlie’s Angels” reboot), should not be shamed for using a surrogate. We can’t just comment on women’s bodies and life choices as if we know what they have been through. Some of us have no idea how frustrating it is when something that is supposed to be so natural doesn’t work. But it doesn’t mean they are “less than” us. This just proves that when it comes to women’s bodies and reproductive issues, we still have a long way to go. It’s easy to judge what we don’t understand, but we should applaud women like Banks for their bravery to speak up about it. 

“If my story helps people feel less alone on their journey, then I’m grateful for that,” said Banks.

 

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Banks’ Instagram Account 

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