Bill Would Limit Payments for Egg Donation
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) is considering legislation (SB 1260) that would extend to privately funded laboratories regulations prohibiting scientists seeking Proposition 71 grants from compensating women who donate eggs beyond their expenses, the Los Angeles Times reports. Voters approved Proposition 71 in 2004 to provide $3 billion over 10 years to fund stem cell research (Romney, Los Angeles Times, 9/13).
California, Massachusetts, South Korea and the European Union all have passed laws banning payments for eggs used in scientific research. According to the Times, the payment restrictions in California "have become the de facto standard throughout the world," mainly because researchers from other parts of the world must comply with the regulations to collaborate with scientists using Proposition 71 funds.
Proposition 71 cannot be changed until three years after it was approved (Kaplan, Los Angeles Times, 9/13).
Officials at the Center for Genetics and Society support the bill, saying if compensation is allowed, low-income and minority women could be exploited and might ignore the medical risks involved with harvesting human eggs.
Meanwhile, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine opposes the bill and advocates paying women $5,000 for eggs whether they will be used by publicly funded researchers or fertility clinics (Romney, Los Angeles Times, 9/13).