On July 1, 2013, the California legislature passed AB 926, a bill that would reverse the state’s current ban on paying women who donate their eggs for research purposes. The bill is now awaiting signature from Governor Jerry Brown. The bill requires a human subject research panel to determine how much a woman should be compensated. Thus the amounts that will be paid may vary, but industry guidelines allow for payments between $5,000 and $10,000 for fertility treatment egg donations.
The bill fails to address or guard against the serious health risks associated with egg donation. With the passage of AB 926, the health of women throughout California will be put in danger (assuming Governor Brown signs the bill into law). Some of the health risks include kidney damage and damage to other internal organs, nicked arteries and internal bleeding, complications of ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome (OHSS), and increased risk of various cancers.
“This bill will result in the exploitation of vulnerable women,” states Dana Cody, President of Life Legal Defense Foundation. “It takes the next step in devaluing human life by treating human eggs as a natural resource to be harvested for cash compensation.”
In addition to the potential dangers for women, AB 926 will lead to an increased devaluing of human life. Human eggs are useful in human embryonic stem cell research, including “clone and kill” methods. Eggs harvested for research will be used to create embryos for research. These embryos – new, unique, human lives – will not be allowed to live and grow, but instead, will be test subjects.
In April, LLDF wrote a letter of opposition urging the California Assembly Appropriations Committee to reject AB 926. The letter pointed out the unique problems raised by paid donation of human eggs, particularly in the research context.
ACTION ITEM: Take a moment to contact Governor Brown and urge him to veto AB 926. You can contact him by using one of the options below, though email, fax, or a phone call is preferable:
Governor Jerry Brown
Attn: Lark Park, Deputy Legislative Secretary
Sacramento, CA 95814
Email: Lark Park at email@example.com
Fax: (916) 558-3160
Phone: (916) 445-2841