“The libertarian conceit that pornography is a victimless crime is over,” said Eberstadt, who called pornography “the sexual revolution’s bastard son.”
The sexual revolution empowered “the already strong and makes the weaker parties more vulnerable than before. This is true, for example, of the young women who were recruited for and demeaned by egg harvesting,” continued Eberstadt. “It is true of the women and children exploited in the frightening rush to normalize prostitution.”
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children found an 846 percent increase in reports of suspected child sex trafficking online in a period of only five years, said Professor Mary Leary, who specializes in criminal law and human trafficking and teaches at The Catholic University of America.
Women are also being exploited in the surrogacy industry, another arena in which “bodies are commodified,” explained Jennifer Lahl, the founder and president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. Lahl has testified at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women on surrogacy and egg trafficking.
“The global fertility industry has grown into a multi-billion dollar a year industry,” said Lahl. “Earlier this week, Market Watch announced this industry will reach $30 billion dollars by 2023.”
"As the years go by we have larger sample sizes and more studies being published, we are learning more and more about the very real harms to women who serve as surrogates or egg donors and also the children that were born of these technologies,” Lahl explained.
“Bodies of women in particular are valued for their reproductive capacities -- their eggs, their wombs. Children become objects of design and manufacture when highly desirable eggs are sought from women of certain intelligence, features, capabilities are brought together with carefully picked sperm and often gestated by another woman, even a stranger in another country, a third world country,” she continued.
“This is the largest social human experiment of our time -- we are learning as we go of the harms to women and children. Where else in medicine do we allow such things to happen?” asked Lahl.
Gendercide is another global consequence of the sexual revolution’s promotion of abortion, said Mary Eberstadt. “Around the planet millions more unborn girls are killed every year than boys. They are killed because they are girls.”
“This grotesque outcome could not have been foreseen half a century ago, but we see it now. It is as anti-female as it is possible to be,” she continued.
In responding to the victims of the sexual revolution, the Church must remember that “our responsibility is healing,” said Cardinal Donald Wuerl of the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. in a keynote address.
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The cardinal encouraged Catholics to reach out to reach out through encounter and “accompaniment of this generation.”
“Our task is not only to have clear in our mind the teaching, but to be able to reach out to them in a way that they begin to hear us,” he said.