In California, a woman cannot sell her eggs for medical research, but she can sell them for actual breeding purposes.
An Assembly Bill by Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, would have changed the law to allow for compensation, approved by a research panel or review board. It passed both the Assembly and the Senate and was sent to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown for a signature. He vetoed it in about a condescending a manner as you’d expect from one of those conservative men who causes many women to bristle. From the Sacramento Bee:
Writing "not everything in life is for sale nor should it be," Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday vetoed legislation seeking to repeal a California law prohibiting women from selling their eggs for medical research.
"The questions raised here are not simple; they touch matters that are both personal and philosophical," the Democratic governor said in a veto message released late in the day. "In medical procedures of this kind, genuinely informed consent is difficult because the long-term risks are not adequately known. Putting thousands of dollars on the table only compounds the problem."
Genuinely informed consent is difficult, so the governor will decide for you, ladies! He’ll decide what in your life is for sale. Bonilla responded with a bit of horror at Brown’s language:
Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, said she found Brown's reasoning "regressive" and that women's groups will object that he underestimates the ability of young women to make their own medical decisions.
"I think there is a groundswell of concern when looking at the veto statement," Bonilla said. "It takes an extremely conservative stance around issues of disclosure and whether women can adequately assess their own risks and sign disclosures for themselves."
I was going to mention the Democrats’ veto-proof supermajority in the legislature if they wanted to overrule the governor, but then I discovered they lost it in June when an assemblyman in Los Angeles joined the City Council (and they were a few votes short of a supermajority anyway).
Bonilla is concerned at how this policy is affecting the speed of research:
Bill supporters said AB 926 would spur research to help young women diagnosed with cancer by studying the impact of cancer-fighting drugs on fertility and improving embryo preservation methods.
"That's the most disappointing part of the veto," Bonilla said. "People sometimes get distracted by argumentation or ideology. Really, it boils down to a decision particularly young women are facing when they get a cancer diagnosis."
Current research has been stalled since the 2006 law was enacted barring payments for eggs donated to science. Few women voluntarily go through the invasive and time-consuming procedure without compensation, leading to a shortage of eggs for research.
But women might not be able to make decisions for themselves about risks, what with all those crazy hormones and those fertility companies and scientists trying to take advantage of them. We need government to protect them.