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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Human egg sales illegal in new bill

    PHOENIX – The House moved yesterday to ban the sale of human eggs, making the procedure commonly used for in vitro fertilization a felony.

    HB 2142 would make the sale or purchase of a human egg a Class 6 felony, which carries up to a year of jail and a fine of up to $150,000. The proposed law would apply to both doctors and donors.

    Though the bill outlaws one component of in vitro fertilization – the sale of eggs from a woman’s ovaries – it does not outlaw the sale of the other necessary component: sperm.

    The House defeated an amendment offered by Rep. Linda Lopez, D-Tucson, that would have criminalized the sale of sperm with the same penalties as selling human eggs.

    “”There is a gender equity issue here,”” Lopez said of her failed amendment. “”This bill is an attack on women.””

    Lopez said she thought if the bill was written to block potential legal and ethical risks to women, it should apply to men as well

    The bill’s author, Rep. Bob Stump, R-Peoria, said the bill is designed to protect women from a dangerous medical procedure that exploits poor women. He said the procedure also has potential legal and ethical risks.

    Because the bill outlaws the sale of eggs, and not the procedure itself, it does nothing to protect women, Lopez said. All the bill really does is remove any form of financial compensation for donors, she said.

    Calls and e-mails to Stump went unreturned yesterday afternoon.

    Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, said the legislature has no business in regulating the sale of human eggs.

    “”I don’t need him protecting my ovaries,”” said Sinema of Stump.

    She said Stump contacted her asking her to co-sponsor HB 2142, offering her documentation emphasizing that the procedure to harvest eggs was unsafe.

    Sinema said his information was not medically accurate, and the legislation was designed to end all human egg donations in the state. She said if Stump were actually concerned about unsafe medical procedures, he would write legislation covering risky triple bypass heart surgeries rather than egg donations.

    Dr. Scot Hutchison, a fertility specialist at the Reproductive Health Center in Tucson, said Stump’s bill would “”completely eliminate most egg donations in Arizona.””

    He said adoption is not an adequate substitute if Stump’s bill becomes law.

    “”Adoptable babies are in short supply,”” Hutchison said.

    Hutchison, a clinical assistant professor of OB/GYN at the UA College of Medicine, said donors rarely give their eggs for financial benefit.

    Selling human eggs in Arizona is a highly selective procedure that pairs donors with women unable to use their own eggs, Hutchison said.

    He said the average compensation for egg donation in Arizona is $2,500, but in California and New Jersey donors can earn as much as $15,000.

    He criticized Stump’s assertion that the procedure is dangerous, saying it has been performed since the early ’90s with few risks to patients. He said in his experience performing the procedure for over a decade, he has had few patients with severe complications.

    “”There were two that required hospitalization,”” Stump said of his 10-year-old practice at the Reproductive Health Center. Hutchison said he performs the procedure on 30 to 40 women per year.

    Another bill by Stump, HB 2681, which requires women to be informed of the risks of the procedure when they donate their eggs, was also passed by the House.

    Both bills are slated to be introduced to the Senate in the near future.

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