In an October 15th article, Bloomberg news reports that “Bodies Double as Cash Machines With U.S. Income Lagging.” Among the many ways Americans are looking to make money during the financial downturn are selling their hair, breast milk, and, unsurprisingly, human eggs.

The article profiles a popular fertility clinic in the D.C. Metro area where 13,000 women have applied to become egg donors—a 13% increase from last year. According to the article, “The clinic’s own survey last year showed that 65 percent of women said there was at least some financial motivation in deciding to donate their eggs.”

While it’s no surprise that financial incentives are the primary reason that women choose to sell their eggs, it highlights how money can so easily cloud one’s judgment on these matters. Moreover, the article evidences the fact that the industry thrives off of those that are most vulnerable.

The 13% uptick in women applying to become egg donors are likely made up of women who have lost their jobs, have mounting debt, or looking for new ways to make ends meet at home.

As much as the fertility industry likes to coat their marketing, this is not a practice driven by altruism, but rather desperation. Eggsploitation, indeed.

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Christopher White, Ramsey Institute Project Director