Do We Need Global Laws Prohibiting Trafficking in Human Eggs?

by Jennifer Lahl, CBC President on July 9, 2013

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I say Yes! And it is partly because of stories like this, which highlight the growth of reproductive tourism.

Let’s face it. Reproductive technologies are expensive and the industry is a multi-billion dollar worldwide enterprise. In order to keep the consumers costs low, people in need of eggs are willing to travel in order to save money. Egg donors from other countries, like the Spain or Eastern Europe, are paid a fraction compared with compensation in the U.S.

A new study, done by the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), found that egg donation is one of the major reasons for the growth in reproductive tourism. It should not be any surprise that the study also showed a large percentage of egg “donors” are not doing this purely for altruistic purposes, but first for the money. Which is why countries like Canada and France ban payment for eggs — the incentive to engage in risky behavior is a very real concern.

So, a global ban on buying and selling eggs is needed to protect the health and well-being of young women all over the world. It would also be a big step in protecting the rights of children created via anonymous egg donation.

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