An article earlier this week from NBC News kicked off a storm of coverage of egg freezing. You know something is having a cultural moment when The Onion satirizes it (twice).
As the initial article pointed out, Facebook and Apple, as part of their employee benefit packages, are now offering (or soon will be offering) to pay for female employees to freeze their eggs. “The firms appear to be the first major employers to offer this coverage for non-medical reasons.”
In June of this year, Jennifer—who has been writing on egg freezing since at least 2007—wrote a piece on egg freezing for The Public Discourse. In “Egg Freezing: Beating Biology and Buying Time, But at What Cost?” she pointed out, “Egg freezing does not really beat biology. It buys a small chance at giving birth, but at a very high price indeed.”
In August, our Chris White commented here on our website on “a new low in the exploitation of women: egg-freezing parties.” In “Egg Freezing’s False Promises,” he reminded us that it’s always important to follow the money: “it’s hard not to think that the real celebration was taking place behind the scenes by those in the fertility industry that were about to cash in on the promise of children that they know they can never ensure.”
Follow the money indeed. Facebook. Apple. That’s big money. Other companies will follow their lead.
But as Jennifer and Chris have already pointed out, money will not address all of the costs. There are deeper issues at stake.