Human Egg Farming

by Nathan Harden

A new documentary called Eggsploitation takes viewers inside the multi-billion dollar industry of human egg farming. Many of us have seen the ads offering young women tens of thousands of dollars to donate their eggs to an infertile couple. Sounds fairly harmless. But this film, produced by the Center for Bioethics and Culture, promises to show the dark side of the egg harvesting business. From a review by Chuck Colson:

The procedure itself is far more problematic than those upbeat ads would ever lead you to believe. The women involved are given hormones to force their bodies to produce far more eggs than they normally would — and that, as you might expect, leads to consequences.

The young women interviewed in this film talk about suffering from strokes, brain damage, internal bleeding, or infertility after the procedure. Some ended up with cancer, even those who had no family history of the disease. Others nearly died from complications of the surgery done to retrieve the eggs.

17,000 of these procedures are done every year. Fertility clinics advertise in college newspapers all over the country, searching for attractive young girls with high IQs and offering sums of money that must be awfully tempting for those in financial need. It must be odd for those girls, years later, to think that their biological children are roaming around anonymously out there. I haven’t seen Eggsploitation yet, but it appears to raise some important ethical questions.

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