Dear Ms. Allen,
I read with much interest your New York Times opinion piece, “Is Egg Freezing Only for White Women?” I follow all things “egg” related as I’ve written and spoken out on the risks to women’s health. I have even produced two films on the topic.
Eggsploitation is my feature length documentary film that features several women in the U.S. who suffered terrible short- and long-term health harms. Maggie’s Story, which is a short film, features Maggie, who lives in the Seattle area, a ten time egg “donor” now battling terminal Stage IV breast cancer.
All women need to be very aware of the risks and dangers of fertility drugs and ovarian stimulation. They need to be told that never once have we done any long-term studies on healthy women who undergo these procedures for egg extraction. As far as egg freezing for social or lifestyle choice, the data on maternal age and pregnancy risks show that just because we can perhaps stop our biological clock on eggs, the uterus continues to age, resulting in high rates of miscarriage, stillbirths, and other pregnancy related complications due to our age.
As it relates to women of color, my Ob/Gyn friends in Africa tell me that young girls (as young as 11 and 12 years old) are being super-ovulated to produce eggs now sold on the open market for scientific research. These young women are paid about the equivalent of $10-15 U.S.D., and get no medical after care or follow up. It’s truly tragic and exploitative.
Please consider writing another piece. Women need to hear all of the facts.
- Jennifer Lahl, MA, BSN, RN, 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.