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Why Elizabeth Banks Feels ”Judged” For Having Kids Through Surrogacy

Matthew Sprout for Porter

Elizabeth Banks doesn’t owe anyone anything, especially when it comes to her family planning decisions.Speaking with Porter, the actress-writer-producer-director extraordinaire opened up about the backlash she’s received for using a surrogate to conceive her sons Felix, 8, and Magnus, 9, with whom she shares with husband of 27 years Max Handelman. Telling the outlet that her “broken belly” left the couple with no other options, Banks said that she still feels judgement to this day—even amidst all of the progress our society has made. “Women’s reproductive issues were things you would whisper about in small circles,” she explained. “[Now] there’s #ShoutYourAbortion and IVF Facebook groups. 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. And, if my story helps people feel less alone on their journey, then I’m grateful for that.”After welcoming Felix in 2011, Banks got candid about her fertility struggles and how using a surrogate helped give her and her husband a miracle.

“I have been very fortunate in life both professionally and personally,” she said at the time. “The one true hurdle I’ve faced in life is that I have a broken belly. After years of trying to get pregnant, exploring the range of fertility treatments, all unsuccessful, our journey led us to gestational surrogacy: we make a ‘baby cake’ and bake it in another woman’s ‘oven.'””Felix means ‘happy’ and ‘lucky’ in Latin,” Banks continue. “And true to his name, Felix is a very happy baby and a blessing on our life.”Switching gears, the Hunger Games alum also discussed her recent film Charlie’s Angels and her vision for the reboot’s storyline. After recalling her mother’s work ethic and the values she was taught, she said that she really wanted the film’s core to be about working women.

“I told the studio and my collaborators: ‘I want to make a movie about women working,” she told the outlet. “And I do not want to tell a story about the boyfriend they don’t see enough, or the mother they don’t call enough, or the cat they don’t feed.’ Those are ridiculous tropes in women’s movies, and you do not see James Bond worrying about calling his f**king mother.”Regardless of its box office numbers, Banks said that she hopes Charlie’s Angels will empower women and “have them see themselves in a movie, which happens far too infrequently, especially in the action genre.”You go, girl! 

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