IVF Clinics Must Stop Exploiting Women
Daily Mail investigations have revealed that some IVF clinics in the UK are essentially bartering their fertility services in exchange for a woman’s eggs.
Rather than a voluntary donation, an important safeguard which reduces the extent to which a woman’s body can be commodified, some clinics are apparently now offering their services in exchange for these eggs.
The commodification of women’s bodies through egg donation is real and not permitting eggs to be sold is one of the safeguards to try to prevent this from happening. Some clinics have found a loop hole by allowing women “free” or discounted treatment, if they agree to donate half of their eggs.
As well as the commodification of women’s bodies, the Daily Mail has uncovered a host of other problems:
• some of the women who donated eggs said they were exploited at a time when they were desperate;
• some clinics target couples who are struggling financially by offering high interest loans;
• some clinics sell ‘add on’ treatments that increase the risk of miscarriage and premature birth;
• career women are misled (or lied) into thinking they can delay motherhood by freezing their eggs – one clinician said the success rates were as high as 65%, when in reality it is more like 15%;
• shockingly, doctors may have covered up the number of women suffering with a potentially fatal IVF side-effect – in some cases fertility drugs can lead to ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) which can cause serious health problems and in rare circumstances, death.
• NHS hospitals let private patients jump queues.
We must call upon the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to investigate these clinics and to end the exploitation of women through egg donation and IVF.