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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Bill outlaws egg sales for research

    PHOENIX – With tears rolling down her face, a 21-year-old Mesa woman made a passionate plea with Senate Judiciary Committee to kill a bill that would ban the sale of human eggs.

    Becky Wright was softly sobbing at the end of her 10-minute speech before the committee, where she explained how watching several family members struggle with their own infertility convinced her to donate her eggs.

    Wright said her reason for donating was altruistic: wanting to give her healthy eggs to couples who cannot have children on their own.

    She said by her own estimate, the money she received for the hormone injections, the multiple trips to the doctor and the surgery itself was less than she would have earned if she had taken a part-time job.

    “”Basically, people at Wal-Mart make more money,”” Wright said.

    Wright’s tears, however, did not sway the Judiciary committee, which approved the bill by a vote of 5-2.

    But Wright’s goal to help infertile couples may be possible because of an amendment to the controversial bill.

    Written by the bill’s author, Rep. Bob Stump, R-Peoria, the amendment narrows the scope of the bill, banning the sale of human eggs only when they will be used for cloning research.

    Stump said while his bill will allow women to sell their eggs to couples, it will still stop women from selling their eggs for cloning research.

    “”I don’t want Arizona to turn into California,”” said Stump, referring to California’s $6 billion cloning research initiative.

    Stump said a bill passed last year would spend billions of tax dollars in California for cloning research. He said demand for the stem cells derived from human eggs was market-driven, tempting women to sell their bodies for a procedure Stump called a “”dangerous and speculative research endeavour.””

    “”I didn’t want it to happen in beloved Arizona,”” Stump said.

    Stump has some surprising allies in his fight to ban the sale of human eggs for cloning purposes. He counts Judy Norsigian, author of “”Our Bodies, Ourselves”” and Francine Coeytaux, from the Pro-Choice Alliance for Responsible Research, as allies in his fight.

    He also suggested the fight to ban the sale of human eggs is a bipartisan issue, pointing to a Democratic state senator in California, Deborah Ortiz, who has also introduced bills regarding egg donation.

    Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, said she is not convinced Stump’s motives are to protect women.

    She noted that Stump has changed his position on the motive for writing the legislation, first stating he was concerned about the health risks of the procedure to women and then bringing up his ethical concerns about paid egg donation.

    Sinema noted both arguments were flawed, that the risks are the same for women whether they donate or sell their eggs and that his ethical concerns do not extend to the donation of plasma or sperm, which also contain DNA.

    She said Stump’s motives are tied to a fundamental belief that every cell is human life, and his legislation is designed to protect his beliefs.

    The bill was passed by the Senate Rules Committee on Monday and will be heard next on the floor of the House.

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