Upon learning that the British government has approved a plan to provide women with compensation for donating eggs that can be used in stem cell and cloning research, I was a bit aghast. My goodness, I thought, I hope the United States does not follow suit.
But to my amazement I discovered that our government has been allowing this for quite some time. Are you as surprised as I was? Well, let me tell you a thing or two. Because now I have checked this out.
Female egg donation was introduced in America in 1990, and the policies regulating the practice seem to be permissive in nearly every way. A woman can donate her own eggs for the purpose of pursuing in vitro fertilization or similar reproductive technologies. She can also donate her eggs for others to use.
According to one source, in the United States egg donors can be paid for each egg that they donate. Depending upon the fertility history of the donor, compensation fees can run as high as $5,000.
It appears that the fertility industry is not regulated by the federal government in any meaningful way which gives rise to several questions including this one which I ask hypothetically, of course:
Could it be that human embryonic stem cell research and human cloning are already going on in fertility research facilities all across America?
In Britain the goal is specified quite clearly: "The eggs would be used to create cloned embryos, with the hope of ectracting stem cells..."