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.
- Jennifer Lahl is founder and president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. Lahl couples her 25 years of experience as a pediatric critical care nurse, a hospital administrator, and a senior-level nursing manager with a deep passion to speak for those who have no voice. Lahl’s writings have appeared in various publications including Cambridge University Press, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, and the American Journal of Bioethics. As a field expert, she is routinely interviewed on radio and television including ABC, CBS, PBS, and NPR. She is also called upon to speak alongside lawmakers and members of the scientific community, even being invited to speak to members of the European Parliament in Brussels to address issues of egg trafficking; she has three times addressed the United Nations during the Commission on the Status of Women on egg and womb trafficking.