For Immediate Release

San Ramon, CA/July 13, 2012News is just breaking in India about Sushma Pandey, a 17-year-old young woman who died in 2010, two days after her third “egg donation.” Her death is being attributed to the procedures used to extract eggs from healthy, desirable young females like Ms. Pandey. These eggs are often resold to affluent westerners for use in commercial production of their children. Her post-mortem report states she had “one abrasion, four contusions and a blood clot in the head, plus six injection marks” as well as “congestion in the ovaries and uterus.” The possible cause of her death was listed as shock due to multiple injuries.

This most recent exposure of the daily exploitation of females offers yet another wake up call to the truth of the real, repeat, and often lethal harms of invasive egg removal procedures, which masquerade under the lie of donation. These transactions are anything but “donations” as young females — nearly children themselves — all over the world, desperately fall prey to offers of money like those made to Ms. Pandey.

Calls for regulation by physicians in India will do nothing to protect young women who seek to “donate” their eggs because they are in desperate need of money. Regulated exploitation is still exploitation — using young women as egg farms for affluent westerners wanting children.

Dr. Allahbadia, one of the drafters of a new Assisted Reproduction Technology Bill, wants to raise the minimum age for egg donors. But how does being older mitigate for the health risks of egg donation? It doesn’t.

Kathleen Sloan, feminist leader and human rights advocate who serves as a special consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture (CBC) comments:

“The list of known health dangers to women who provide their eggs is extensive. It includes Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome from the profusion of synthetic hormones and fertility drugs such as Lupron, estrogen (linked to breast and uterine cancers, heart attack, stroke, and blood clots), and progesterone they are injected with; ovarian torsion; and kidney disease — and those are just the short-term risks! How many more women will have to die before India and the United States, the two countries where the out of control fertility industry is allowed to endanger and exploit women unimpeded, take action? No country can claim to respect women’s human rights while simultaneously turning them into commodities subject to life-threatening harms.”

Jennifer Lahl, writer, producer, and director of the award-winning film Eggsploitaiton states,

“What happened to Sushma Pandey is happening to women every day, all over the world. The infertility industry knows the seriousness of the health risks, yet objects to any oversight, to long-term studies, and to regulation, simply because it will compromise their profits.”

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Media Contact: Jennifer Lahl
President, The Center for Bioethics and Culture