UK Feminist Campaign: No2Eggsploitation

Posted by Marcy Darnovsky December 15, 2009
Biopolitical Times
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A network of British feminists has launched a campaign called No2Eggsploitation in support of the current policy that limits payments for eggs to reimbursement for expenses. That policy is now under review by the British fertility watchdog agency, the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA).

No2Eggsploitation points out - as have feminists in the U.S. and elsewhere - that if a market in eggs is permitted, the risks of providing eggs for other people's fertility treatment will fall on poorer women. It also argues that "turning human body parts into commodities is unethical." In a recent letter to the HFEA, No2Eggsploitation wrote:
Our main concern is that this will induce women who are in financial need to take significant risks with their health. It is not acceptable to create a situation in which poorer women are disproportionately induced to take such risks, as many HFEA documents have stated in the past.
The HFEA policy review was announced this past summer by its chair Lisa Jardine. The announcement triggered several news stories about the controversy over payment and the risks of egg extraction. A Sunday Times article reported "four cases of brain damage or other serious physical harm in the UK in recent years and up to six deaths" linked to egg donation or fertility treatment.

No2Eggsploitation's campaign has been covered by the BBC (1, 2), and the group is planning future meetings and activities.