The following comes from an July 31 Buzzfeed article by Azeen Ghorayshi and Cora Lewis:
In California, women who donate their eggs to infertile couples are paid — and sometimes, paid lavishly. Not so if they want to donate their eggs to science.
But a bill headed to the California state senate on Monday could change that. Sponsored by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the leading body for the fertility industry, AB 2531 would overturn a 2006 law barring researchers from paying women.
The bill is pitting some scientists who want to use the eggs for research against women’s health advocates, who say it would incentivize poor women to take unnecessary health risks.
Adding urgency to the issue, many scientists are eager for more eggs to study cloning, stem cells, and fertility in a state that invests more in biomedical research than any other.
“A number of our members at some of California’s very fine research institutions tell us that they have a hard time finding women to donate eggs for research purposes because compensation is not allowed,” Tipton said.
Some labor activists are also in favor of the bill, as it would let more women be paid for the work of enduring the painful and potentially risky procedure.
But opponents say that financially incentivizing women to donate could push them to make risky decisions they otherwise wouldn’t. The long-term health effects of repeated egg donation remain unknown, they say. So incentivizing women to go through the invasive, 10-day procedure for scientific research could end up doing more harm than good.