Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Egg Market

A report from London on Zenit (Sept. 16, 2006) says that women are under increasing pressure to freeze or donate their ova:
"Women in their 30s who may want children in the future should be encouraged to consider freezing their eggs for future use," ...While many women who currently freeze their ova do so for reasons related to medical problems such as cancer...she expected the number of "social egg-freezers" to increase.
An English fertility center in the city of Newcastle was given permission by the government to pay women undergoing in vitro fertilization treatment to donate eggs for research using cloning, the BBC reported July 27.

The "pressure" kicks in when infertile couples who can't afford IVF are presented with the option of making a "donation" to offset their costs.

There is, thank goodness, an organized opposition to this practice:
...the Hands Off Our Ovaries organization describes itself as being a "coalition of 'pro-choice' and 'pro-life' women, concerned at the growing exploitation of women in biotechnology." Last March 8 the group launched a campaign against the harvesting and marketing of human eggs.

In a press release dated May 11, the group explained it is concerned that the processes used to extract ova "pose serious short-term health risks for women." Apart from short-term problems such as overstimulation of the ovaries, the statement argued that knowledge of the long-term risks is inadequate.
Politics really does make strange bedfellows.

As might be expected, the frequent targets of the donor egg market are...(news flash)...poor Third World women!
Many British women...use eggs coming from women in Eastern Europe. The donors, tempted by payments of between 150 to 300 pounds ($281 to $562) that are equivalent to several months' salary, run the risk of damaging their own hopes for a baby. The article cited cases of women from countries such as Romania, whose ovaries are so damaged as a result of ova donation that they are now infertile.

But even in developed nations, women are exploitable--if the price is right:
Women from countries such as the United States are also at risk, the Boston Globe explained June 25. Young women burdened with debts or college loans are tempted by payments that can range from $5,000 to $15,000 to donate their eggs.
You knew that college degree would lead to better pay...

Rather than halting the exploitaiton of women, our modern world seems to be skilled at finding endless new ways to exploit them. What never ceases to amaze me is the speed with which many women, including plenty who ought to know better, fall into line to be exploited.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home