March 04, 2010
Oklahoma Might Ban Market For Donor Eggs

The chief argument against the egg market is that banning it would protect donors.

A measure passed Thursday by the state House, intended to make it illegal for a woman to sell her eggs, could jeopardize state fertility clinics, doctors at two Oklahoma City facilities said Thursday.

House Bill 3077 easily won House approval, passing 85-8. It now goes to the Senate.

This bill would have a number of deleterious effects. First off, it would reduce the supply of eggs. Second, it would lower the quality of eggs. The women who are the healthiest, smartest, prettiest, and with best dispositions would not get offered the tens of thousands that now entice them to donate eggs. With less competition bidding up prices lower supply would force seekers of eggs to lower their standards. So babies born from donated eggs would be less intelligent, less attractive, and less healthy.

A young woman who has a highly desired profile can make a lot of money from egg donation to help pay the cost of college. So sellers can derive a benefit at a stage in life when money is scarce.

The development of more detailed and revealing genetic tests will soon make possible much more accurate assessment of genetic potential of eggs. So we can expect market prices for the most desired eggs to rise once quality measurement becomes more precise. The identification of the very best will become easier to do. In areas which continue to allow the market to function higher donor egg quality will produce even bigger advantages from market incentives.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2010 March 04 10:03 PM  Bioethics Reproduction

random said at March 5, 2010 7:14 AM:

It doesn't look like the bill precludes individuals from paying other individuals to "donate" their eggs, only doctors and health clinics can no longer pay. Seems like a better solution would be stricter regulation/oversight on the hormones and methods used to procure the eggs.

jp straley said at March 5, 2010 7:55 AM:

This kind of stifling regulation is silly. Left unregulated, we should see an increase in the frequency of the more desirable genetic combinations.....but, no! Not in Oklahoma!

There used to be an old TV show called the "Love Boat." The new love boat, now more honestly called the "repro-boat", will sail for its 40-mile out-and-back cruise shortly!

Fat Man said at March 5, 2010 10:11 AM:

"The women who are the healthiest, smartest, prettiest, and with best dispositions would not get offered the tens of thousands that now entice them to donate eggs."

From an abstract genetic viewpoint, shouldn't really want their Mother's eggs? After all they are the ones with the track record.

Brett Bellmore said at March 5, 2010 4:25 PM:

That would make sense, if their mother had frozen eggs to sell. Otherwise, by the time you know how their daughters turned out, their own eggs are too old to be quality, if they're even still producing them.

Besides, you're discounting the father's contribution to how the daughter turned out.

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