Op-Ed

CGS's Diane Tober

As scientists in California delve more deeply into stem cell research and reproductive science, it is essential that women donating their eggs for research not be exploited or put at risk. A bill on the governor's desk would do just that.

On July 1, the state Senate passed AB 926, a bill sponsored by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine that "will reverse the current ban on compensation for women providing human oocytes (eggs) for research." That ban was passed almost unanimously in 2006; Sacramento got it right the first time.

The new bill purports to "promote equity" for women as "research subjects." Since men can be paid for sperm to be used either for research or for assisted reproduction, supporters of AB 926 argue that prohibiting women from selling eggs for research is "unfair." The comparison is ludicrous.

A sperm donor is screened for psychological and medical disorders. Once accepted, he may visit the sperm bank regularly. In some repositories he is provided a bed to relax on, erotic videos and magazines. While sperm donors are asked to abstain...