Yesterday I flew to Seattle, Washington, to meet with the staff of U.S. Senator Patty Murray. I was in D.C. a few months ago, meeting with the Senator’s staff on Capitol Hill because of the Senator’s leadership role in a bill that would provide IVF benefits to our wounded vets.
As an educational non-profit, we are keen to make sure that when a benefit is provided for one, we don’t harm another. So we work to educate legislators and their staff members on both the benefits and harms of various proposals.
Maggie Eastman, from our film Maggie’s Story, lives in Washington State. Who better to help inform a legislator of the perils of egg donation than a member of her own constituency who has experienced those harms?!?
We had a very good meeting for about an hour discussing Maggie’s experience as a ten time egg donor now living with Stage IV breast cancer. And we discussed the risks to women’s health from exposure to fertility drugs as well as the corruption of an industry that preys on women’s altruism and financial need.
Maggie and I both left encouraged that we not only informed this staffer, who admitted not knowing much at all about the procedures, risks, and practices of the industry, but also knowing that she shared our concerns for women’s health. The staffer left with a copy of Eggploitation and online access to watch Maggie’s Story.
We will be following up with Senator Murray’s staff and keeping them updated.
- 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.