If you’ve been on a college campus in recent years, or if you’ve picked up a college newspaper, you’ve seen the ads: “Donate Your Eggs”, they read, and they offer large amounts of money to donors. Some are awful enough that they specify the traits that they’re looking for, like particular looks, or minimum SAT scores.
A very tempting proposition for struggling college women, laden down with school loans. An even more tempting idea for poor women, struggling to make ends meet.
Of course, the ads don’t explain the process very well. The multiple doses of medicine to stop the normal menstrual cycle – to shut down the woman’s ovaries. Then the high doses of medicine to hyperstimulate the ovaries so they can “harvest” multiple eggs. Then even more drugs to prepare the eggs for harvesting. And finally a surgical procedure in which they stick needles far into the donor’s reproductive tract to retrieve the eggs.
Nor do the ads mention the side effects. Mild effects like mood swings, abdominal pain, pressure, swelling. Severe effects like infections, blood clots, kidney failure, fluid build-up in the lungs, shock, loss of the ovaries, or even death. Nor do they mention future potential risks, like ovarian cancer.
Nor do the ads mention the psychological and social side effects of treating women as if they were farm animals.
The payment of large amounts of money to egg donors is cloaked in lies. They claim that they are not buying eggs, but are merely compensating donors for their time, effort and discomfort. Yeah, right – it’s all about reimbursing them for babysitting. The IRS certainly understands what’s going on, because they count these payments as income.
Now we are moving into a new phase of the Brave New World. Our state government, acting through the New York State Stem Cell Board, will now be financing the purchase of human eggs for up to $10,000 per “retrieval” (which could involve the extraction of up to 12 eggs). Oh, I’m sorry, I mean to say that up to $10,000 our tax money will be used to reimburse women for their time, effort and discomfort in donating eggs. No other state does this. In fact, other states actually ban any kind of payments for human eggs.
This is happening despite herculean efforts by Fr. Thomas Berg and Br. Dan Sulmasy, leading bioethicists who are members of the Stem Cell Board’s Ethics Committee, to warn about the moral minefield into which we are stepping. The New York State Catholic Conference has said:
The New York State Stem Cell Board is poised to facilitate the exploitation of low-income women by using taxpayer funds to pay for the retrieval of eggs. This is a grossly unethical, dangerous and exploitative move that treats women’s body parts as commodities… No other state in the union allows eggs-for-research payments, and for good reason.
But does the Stem Cell Board care about ethics? Not really. Today, the leader of a lobbying group in favor of embryonic stem cell research extolled the general work of the Board, saying:
With the Empire State Stem Cell Trust we have made a scientific environment free from politics, and a funding mechanism that has the best science with the most potential as its only criteria. That, in the end, is the only thing that matters – putting science first.
Nice of her to admit openly that ethics aren’t part of the mix at all.
Why is this happening? Because the biotech industry wants it, and wants it badly. Why do they want it?
There is potentially big money in the business of producing new therapies. That’s a good goal, but the end does not justify the means. The biotech industry wants human eggs because there aren’t enough human stem cell lines to do the necessary tests, or produce the drugs. The only way to get those cells is to do human cloning (which they conceal by using cloning’s fancy medical term, “somatic cell nuclear transfer”). You can’t clone without getting more and more eggs. That’s what’s going on here.
So make sure you get this straight. Our tax money will now be used to induce poor women to undergo serious medical risks, so that rich biotech companies can buy their eggs, which will be used to clone new human beings, who will then be destroyed so that their cells can be used to make more money for the companies. All this wrapped in euphemism and lies.
Yes, the Brave New World is upon us.