Bill to Ban Women Selling Eggs Passes State House, Debate Heats Up

Friday, February 26th 2010, 10:33 am
By: News 9

Staff and Wire Reports

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Oklahoma House has passed a bill that would ban women from selling their eggs.

The bill passed the House by an 85-8 vote and now heads to the Senate. Its author, Rep. Rebecca Hamilton, D-Oklahoma City, said the measure is necessary because women are being injured by the procedure used to obtain the eggs.

She said low-income women and college students are particularly vulnerable to enticements to undergo the procedure.

However, Doctor Eli Reshef is the medical director at the fertility institute at Integris Baptist said he the bill would damage their operations.

"Deserving woman recipients of egg donation will not be able to get pregnant in the state of Oklahoma," Reshef said.

Reshef said the bill proposed by Rep. Hamilton would decrease egg donations to clinics like his in the state by 95 percent, but Rep. Hamilton said her concerns aren't the fertility clinics but the health of the donors.

"This is a very dangerous procedure or at least it can be, and what they are doing is exploitative," Hamilton said.

Hamilton said many ads can be found on college campuses like the University of Oklahoma and can encourage women to donate their eggs as a way to make money.

"What you need to understand is the doctors who are defending this are making money out of this. I'm not," Hamilton said.

But Dr. Reshef said what Hamilton's bill does is steal a woman's right to child birth, and that he said is what really hurts women in the state.

"To ignore the medical profession and author a bill that is irresponsible would create just the opposite effect. it will injure rather than kill Oklahomans," Reshef said.

On average donors can make around $4,000, but Reshef said the women are heavily counseled and sign consent forms alerting them to all medical risks.