California's Egg Shortage

In 2004 California passed Proposition 71, allocating $3 billion to stem cell research. The same measure banned compensation for women who would provide raw materials for said research. Thus:

Facing a human egg shortage they say is preventing medical breakthroughs, scientists and biotech entrepreneurs are pushing the country's top funders of stem cell research to rethink rules that prohibit paying women for eggs.

"You need to have enough eggs to make this thing work, and when you have enough eggs it does work," said Dr. Sam Wood, chief executive of Stemagen Corp. in La Jolla (San Diego County).

The restrictions are necessary, supporters say, to avoid creating a market for human eggs that encourages women to risk their health for speculative science.

But last month, the California institute's new president, Dr. Alan Trounson, said research into therapeutic cloning was "floundering" because too few eggs are available.

The risk of death from egg donation appears to be less than that of pregnancy. Even the small numbers we have (between 1 fatality per 50,000 cycles and 1 fatality per 450,000 cycles) are probably exaggerated, since most people who experience serious complications are pregnant women who have had their own eggs removed and implanted. It's difficult to disentangle the effects of the retrieval from those of the pregnancy itself. 

But let's say the risks of egg vending are found to be unacceptably high by some mysterious calculus of female danger. The authors of Prop 71 apparently believe that it is all right for women to take this extremely serious risk; it's simply unacceptable to compensate young women for putting themselves in harm's way. They're quite welcome to "risk their health for speculative science" so long as they do so out of feminine self-sacrifice. (Money would just confuse them, the poor dears.) I'm still waiting for someone to demand that we stop paying American soldiers to avoid creating a market that encourages men to risk their health for highly speculative military initiatives.  

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  • Elemenope||

    "You can't sell science."

    Name that quote.

  • Bingo||

    So it's okay to take a risk as long as its for The Greater Good not out of self-interest.

  • SIV||

    In 2004 California passed prop 71, allocating $3 billion to stem cell research.

    Like they can afford it, Ha !

    Good pragmatic argument against State funded "science" in there too.

  • Elemenope||

    Democrats are allergic to self-interest.

    Republicans are allergic to free will.

    Neither wants to to make choices you can profit from.

  • Elemenope||

    *thpt* I mean, Neither wants *you* to make choices you can profit from.

  • ||

    I'm still waiting for someone to demand that we stop paying American soldiers to avoid creating a market that encourages men to risk their health for highly speculative military initiatives.

    Charlie Rangel is at least half-way there with his proposal to re-institute the draft. If you can force someone to join the military, after all, why do you need to pay them?

  • ||

    Egg draft comin'?

  • Elemenope||

    Charlie Rangel is at least half-way there with his proposal to re-institute the draft. If you can force someone to join the military, after all, why do you need to pay them?

    Because if you force a million young men into the Army, teach them how to fire a gun, and then tell them you aren't gonna pay them...you're gonna have a problem.

  • Dagny T.||

    The restrictions are necessary, supporters say, to avoid creating a market for human eggs that encourages women to risk their health for speculative science.

    Well, I can't speak for all women, but I know I sure lose all concern for my safety when the demon cash is involved.

    In fact, just thinking about it is making me a little hysterical. Fetch me my smelling salts!

  • ||

    Dagny,

    I believe there is a fainting couch in the lobby.

  • ||

    Could somebody please just buy Howley's eggs already?

  • Xmas||

    R C Dean,

    You've also got most of the military brass not wanting draftees, who, by definition, don't want to be in the military in the first place.

  • Episiarch||

    Well, I can't speak for all women, but I know I sure lose all concern for my safety when the demon cash is involved.

    When you combine women's genitals or reproductive organs with money, you get paternalistic bullshit and that which lurks behind it: that you are all whores, or exploited, and will do anything for money no matter how "degrading".

    I'd be pissed too, but I am a member of the patriarchy and therefore will instead retire to my yacht with its legion of nubile young women feeding me grapes (all for money, of course).

    "First you wanna kill me, now you wanna kiss me. Blow." (spits out grape seeds)

  • ||

    Epi,

    Since I have money, I am all for women degrading themselves for money, especially really attractive ones. Talk to me again about this subject, however, if I ever have a daughter.

  • ||

    But without a draft, how else can we ensure that rich kids get killed before they have a chance to breed?

  • Naga Sadow||

    Not paying your armies actually has a lot of historical basis. The soldiers will just make up for it in plunder.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Epi,

    Freakin' hilarious! People who like Army of Darkness are few and far between.

    Ash: Alright you Primitive Screwheads, listen up! You see this? This... is my boomstick! The twelve-gauge double-barreled Remington. S-Mart's top of the line. You can find this in the sporting goods department. That's right, this sweet baby was made in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Retails for about a hundred and nine, ninety five. It's got a walnut stock, cobalt blue steel, and a hair trigger. That's right. Shop smart. Shop S-Mart. You got that?

  • ||

    "Not paying your armies actually has a lot of historical basis. The soldiers will just make up for it in plunder."

    In every enlistment contract there is a clause forfeiting your right to sue or get out of the contract if the government fails to pay you.

  • Elemenope||

    Sadow --

    Sure, but back in the day plunder was easy to get a hold of, not only because the places and people you were fighting had decent wealth in comparison to your soldiers, but also because money came in conveniently negotiable hunks of precious metal.

    It's a bit harder when your soldiers, even when not getting paid, are five times wealthier than their victims, and even harder when you have to take your plunder in the form of home appliances.

  • Elemenope||

    In every enlistment contract there is a clause forfeiting your right to sue or get out of the contract if the government fails to pay you.

    Just because it's written doesn't make it so. I wonder if anyone has ever challenged the clause in court.

  • ||

    "It's a bit harder when your soldiers, even when not getting paid, are five times wealthier than their victims, and even harder when you have to take your plunder in the form of home appliances."

    Of course they used to also take slaves to. Perhaps that could make up for things. Haven't you ever read "The Trojan Women"?

  • ||

    "Just because it's written doesn't make it so. I wonder if anyone has ever challenged the clause in court."


    I don't know but I would bet they would lose. Courts are loath to interfer with the military. Basically the clause says in the event of a national emergency or bankruptcy you can't go home because you are not being paid.

  • ||

    Like free Hummers, repossessed from the Russians? I envision a well-trained cadre of repo men, drafted, without pay, but with the pride in their work that only repo men can truly enjoy.

  • ||

    Don't they still pay sperm donors? 1 in 450,000 deaths per cycle is so freakin low. I bet 1 in 450,000 men die masturbating due to heart failure. So how come men can sell their reproductive cells and women cannot?

  • Naga Sadow||

    Elemenope,

    I'm sure the soldiers will figure something out . Most likely extortion, protection rackets, and kidnapping would probably rise to the top of the list.

  • Naga Sadow||

    See Elemenope, Pro Lib has the spirit. And with no regular pay I'm sure he would figure out how to get it back to the good ol' USA.

  • Episiarch||

    Since I have money, I am all for women degrading themselves for money, especially really attractive ones. Talk to me again about this subject, however, if I ever have a daughter.

    Yes, I'll call you for her number.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Epi, will it go down something like this:

    Sheila: But what of all those sweet words you spoke in private?
    Ash: Oh that's just what we call pillow talk, baby, that's all.

  • ||

    "Yes, I'll call you for her number."

    Won't do you any good. My daughter will be like Howley and be educated and pampered. She will just wax philosophical about the right of women to degrade themselves for money. She won't actually do it.

  • ||

    Naga Sadow,

    Drive it back. With regular stops to siphon our enemies' oil.

  • Episiarch||

    That's how it always goes down, Naga. That, or:

    "You found me beautiful once."

    "Honey, you got real ugly."

  • Naga Sadow||

    *salutes Pro Liberate*

  • Episiarch||

    Won't do you any good. My daughter will be like Howley and be educated and pampered. She will just wax philosophical about the right of women to degrade themselves for money. She won't actually do it.

    John, Kerry did sell an egg. Now as for other "degradations", you'd have to ask her, but she did put her money where her mouth is (or her egg where the money is?).

  • Naga Sadow||

    I like to think this is the way I roll:

    [Ash grabs girl close]
    Ash: Hail to the king, baby.
    [Ash kisses the girl]

  • Eric S.||

    How does specific performance of the enlistment contract in the event of a government breach get around the 13th amendment? I don't understand how a decree of "We're broke" or "It National Security goddammit" supercedes the Constitution.

  • Eric S.||

    Of course, finding a ride home from Syria may be just enough of a hassle to work for free.

  • ||

    In every enlistment contract there is a clause forfeiting your right to sue or get out of the contract if the government fails to pay you.

    I actually won one of those suits. I shit you not.

  • ||

    "John, Kerry did sell an egg. Now as for other "degradations", you'd have to ask her, but she did put her money where her mouth is (or her egg where the money is?)."

    I didn't know that. Good for her. I hope she got a good price.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Eric S.,

    Errrrr . . . sovereign immunity? (shrugs)

  • Dagny T.||

    When you combine women's genitals or reproductive organs with money, you get paternalistic bullshit and that which lurks behind it: that you are all whores, or exploited, and will do anything for money no matter how "degrading".

    There's also some "sacred vessel of teh children" stuff mixed in there, I think.


    ...I am a member of the patriarchy and therefore will instead retire to my yacht with its legion of nubile young women feeding me grapes (all for money, of course).

    You have to pay them? Your *ahem* yacht ain't all that, I guess. ;-)

  • ||

    Pinette,

    Because we're going to do it anyway, might as well catch it in a plastic cup. I'm not trying to speak on Kerry's behalf, but I doubt she superovulates in the morning, desperately trying to finish before the water in the shower shuts off.

    Not that any of this means she shouldn't be paid for her eggs. If anything, it's men who shouldn't be paid. We get free porn and a clean-up service. Beats dial-up internet and a gym sock any day.

  • ||

    Regarding my previous.

    Google is soooo cool. Took me < 60 seconds to find that link.

  • ||

    Eric S.,

    Silly. It's not slavery if the government owns you.

    Besides, the Supreme Court said that the draft isn't prohibited by the 13th Amendment a century ago. Involuntary servitude for the greater good of people who aren't drafted is a good thing.

  • Episiarch||

    You have to pay them? Your *ahem* yacht ain't all that, I guess. ;-)

    If I wasn't paying them I might have to treat them like human beings. And we can't have that.

  • ||

    Epi,

    Be sure to keep at least two of them. It is good for conversation. That way if there winds up being any, you don't have to be involved.

  • Dagny T.||

    If I wasn't paying them I might have to treat them like human beings. And we can't have that.

    Touche. That would certainly curtail the commands to smell the glove, etc. ...I mean, I'm reporting you to Feministing!

  • Episiarch||

    That would certainly curtail the commands to smell the glove, etc.

    Curtail? I think not. Increase.

  • ||

    Epi,
    And I thought you relied solely on your good looks and charm... what with catching a European girlfriend and all, I'd assume you'd have enough of both to spare...
    I am slightly disillusioned.

  • Elemenope||

    Both the Government and respondents recognize that "[a] soldier's entitlement to pay is dependent upon statutory right," Bell v. United States, 366 U.S. 393, 401 (1961), and that accordingly the rights of the affected service members must be determined by reference to the statutes and regulations governing the VRB, rather than to ordinary contract principles.

    Yuck.

    Well, at least you won.

  • Episiarch||

    And I thought you relied solely on your good looks and charm...

    No rana, you are 100% right about having looks and charm to spare. However, the European girlfriend and I just recently split. Dating a psychologist is...difficult (I'm not the psychologist, she is).

  • ||

    Episiarch,

    Your mistake was dating them in the same person. I separated my European and my psychologist, as the transporter split Captain Kirk, which made the dating much less weird. Though each had, let us be candid, quirks galore. I've never met a psychologist who I didn't think needed lots of counseling.

    Interestingly, my lovely and wonderful wife is neither of those things.

  • Episiarch||

    I've never met a psychologist who I didn't think needed lots of counseling

    ...yet still assumed that because they were psychologists that they were totally on top of their own issues, no matter how much they weren't. Don't forget that part.

  • ||

    Indeed. But tell me why you feel that way.

  • Episiarch||

    Isn't our time up?

  • Dagny T.||

    ...yet still assumed that because they were psychologists that they were totally on top of their own issues, no matter how much they weren't. Don't forget that part.

    Wow. Sounds fun. Considering that, it would seem your (highly compensated) yacht nymphs are richly deserved.

  • ||

    I'm almost afraid to ask... but I can't resist... must know...

    "smell the glove"?

  • ||

    rana,

    Go watch This is Spinal Tap and much will be revealed to you.

    Episiarch,

    Please stop acting out.

  • Dagny T.||

    rana,

    IIRC, you're from Venezuela, so the fact that you haven't seen this can be forgiven. ;-)

  • ||

    Thanks Dagny T.

    ...Hey, it's Lenny from Laverne and Shirley!- see there are some things I didn't miss growing up in a foreign country ;)

  • ||

    Not only that, but Rob Reiner (the director and the guy playing the "director") was married to Laverne herself. All things go back to Happy Days, it seems.

  • No Name Guy||

    Supremes rules that the draft was simply Congress exercising it's power to 'organize, arm and discipline the militia', the militia being previously defined by statute as all able bodied males from 18 to 45 years of age.

    Look it up, it's easy to find. I did in the pre-internet age of the early 90's.

    Pro Libertate | August 19, 2008, 4:38pm | #

    Eric S.,

    Silly. It's not slavery if the government owns you.

    Besides, the Supreme Court said that the draft isn't prohibited by the 13th Amendment a century ago. Involuntary servitude for the greater good of people who aren't drafted is a good thing.

  • Anonymous||

    I'm trying to find out how prop 71 is divided along D/R or L/R or lib/auth lines, but *.ca.gov isn't responding, so I'll do it the old-fasioned way: angrily.

    By Leftists' logic, women can sell their bodies and murder infants coming out of their bodies (including cases of botched abortions, in places), but they can't sell a certain type of cell from their bodies, when -- given a market for it -- they could sell other parts (hair, or for perverts, waste such as nail clippings).

  • ||

    J sub D
    Wow, that's cool. What do you think of the fact that the most liberal judge in US history wrote the majority opinion while the conservatives dissented?

  • Diane D.||

    I'm putting in a plug for a survey of women who were egg donors. If you were an egg donor, consider participating in this study. If you know of someone who was an egg donor, pass this onto them!

    Wendy Kramer, of Donor Sibling Registry writes,

    "We at the Donor Sibling Registry are doing a (very) informal study of former egg donors. Some of you may have registered on the the Donor Sibling Registry and some of you have not yet, or do not intend on making yourself available for contact from families that may have used your eggs. Either way, our goal is to get a better understanding of how egg donation affects women as time goes on, as we know of no medical studies or formal research on this topic.
    Your answers will be kept private, as I will only share the collective data, and no one's personal information. This information could be extremely valuable in pushing the medical community to further investigate how egg donation physically affects woman who donate. The questions should only take a few minutes to answer."

  • MJ||

    What do they need eggs for? I was told that embryonic stem cell research was only going to use pre-existing embryos that were going to be destroyed anyway. That was how the pro side rationalized destroying them as being ethically neutral.

    What a sleazy, bullshit, red-herring argument that was.

  • ||

    What do they need eggs for?

    I'm guessing the stem cell research is just a cover for their real plan - breeding an army of super-soldiers for world domination.

  • Elemenope||

    That was how the pro side rationalized destroying them as being ethically neutral.

    Perhaps it was because some over-pious douchebags forced scientists into justifying something that shouldn't need justification, and so they had to bend themselves into Jesuitical knots to jump through the anti-abortionist lobby's hoops?

    Maybe?

  • surrogacy||

    Great Post.....

    I found your site on stumbleupon and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

    Thanks for sharing....

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