This Week in Bioethics

by Christopher White, CBC Director of Research and Education on May 15, 2015

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1. Stop Surrogacy Now Coalition Launched

The Center for Bioethics and Culture is pleased to be one of the original sixteen international organizations to have signed the Stop Surrogacy Now petition. This global coalition is calling on leaders of the world to put an end to the exploitative practice of surrogacy. In less than one week over 2,600 individuals from over 40 countries have added their names to the petition. Add yours now and join the movement to #StopSurrogacyNow.

2. Commercial Surrogacy Advances in New Jersey

The New Jersey state legislature voted this week to advance a bill that would allow for commercial surrogacy in that state. The bill now moves to the desk of Governor Chris Christie for consideration—and what we hope to be an eventual veto. Christie has once vetoed similar legislation citing “the profound change in the traditional beginnings of the family that this bill will enact.” Nothing about the process has changed. Let’s hope Christie makes his decision based on the principles here—not politics.

3. Belgium Considers Banning Anonymous Gamete Donation

A new bill in Belgium calls for the end of anonymous egg and sperm donation, and the establishment of a central database and registry that would provide medical histories to children who have been conceived from these techniques. Many countries in Europe have similar programs, which we at the CBC support as a step in the right direction to better protecting the interest of donor-conceived children.

4. New, Experimental IVF Treatments in Canada

Earlier this week TIME magazine profiled a new method of IVF being championed by doctors in Canada to attempt to make old eggs “act” young again. On a global scale, IVF has a failure rate of almost 80%, and we remain skeptical that any method that takes the natural aspects of reproduction and moves it into the laboratory will ever be truly successful. As we’ve highlighted here, children born through IVF are exposed to heightened health risks and couples desperate to conceive often spend thousands of dollars chasing a dream with little chance of reward. Meanwhile, the fertility industry continues to take advantage of this desperation—and fills their coffers in the process.

5. Egg Freezing on the Rise

The Daily Mail is reporting that demand for egg freezing has soared to 400% in the U.K. this past year. As we’ve warned before, egg freezing has its own medical risks and offers no guaranteed success. One positive outcome of the rise in egg freezing could be this: thanks to our work of raising the red flag over the risks and exploitative nature of egg donation, the market has shifted from the buying and selling of eggs to the freezing of one’s own eggs. Risk your own health to have your own children—don’t prey on others!

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