Article: The Politics of Women’s Eggs

The Politics of Women’s Eggs
By Diane Tober | Undark | June 10, 2016

A curious battle is being waged over women’s bodies in the state of California. It’s not, as one might expect, the ongoing fight over women’s rights to abortion, which I fully support. Rather, the dispute involves a woman’s right to donate her eggs for use in scientific research — and to be compensated for it.

In this essay, Diane Tober, a medical anthropologist, documentary filmmaker, and assistant professor at the University of California’s Institute for Health and Aging, discusses the implications of egg retrieval (for infertility treatment and research) on the health of egg providers, and plots a timeline for pending legislation in California.

She concludes with recommendations to reduce health risks and track long-term safety data. Read the full essay > 

Plus: Learn more about Tober’s documentary “The Perfect Donor.” This film is the culmination of Tober’s conversations with women on, among other things, their health after egg retrieval and their experiences with medical providers during the process. From the film’s website:

The Perfect Donor intends to provide information to all the players in the world of egg donation–the donors, physicians, agents, intended parents, and others–so that those women who do decide to provide eggs to help another person create a family receive the best of care and have their voices heard. By hearing other women’s stories, both good and bad, this film will provide more information to women considering egg donation before deciding to proceed. It will also help fertility practitioners take steps to increase safety and informed consent for egg providers, and educate intended parents on what to look out for when pursuing egg donation to complete their families.