Critics Slam N.Y. Plan to Pay Women to Donate Eggs for Stem Cell Research
(FOXNEWS) New York’s decision to offer women in the state up to $10,000 to donate their eggs for stem cell research, payable by taxpayers, is “incredibly irresponsible and immoral,” critics told FOXNews.com.
Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, said the move — the first of its kind nationwide — treats women as “commodities, almost like cows” and could lead to cash-strapped women in other states to partake in similar programs.
A board that oversees New York’s stem cell research recently voted to use state funds for the payments. Wright suggested that California might make a similar offer to egg donors.
“Women have something that researchers want to get their hands on, and now the government will pay for it,” Wright told FOXNews.com. “It’s taking advantage of disadvantaged women by enticing them with money, especially during an economic downturn. The timing of this is especially disconcerting.”
New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Richard Daines said it’s ethical to pay women to donate eggs because of the discomfort associated with the procedure. The program is expected to be in place by next year.
Donor eggs are required for embryonic stem cell research, which scientists believe could lead to cures for diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, as well as injuries to the spine.
David Almasi, executive director for the National Center for Public Policy Research, said a simple Internet search revealed programs offering eggs for $8,000.
“So it looks like [New York] is paying a premium,” Almasi told FOXNews.com. “And should the state be paying for something that is morally and medically questionable?”
Almasi said he found the policy strangely similar to another little-known New York City policy that gives homeless individuals a one-way plane ticket to another city if they have relatives there willing to take them in.
“I’m appalled, but I guess I’m not shocked,” he said. “I expect liberal politicians to continue to placate to their special interest lobbies and to not be cautious with the taxpayers’ money. It seems the person in charge of the homeless policy in New York City moved to the state health department.”
Aside from ethical concerns, Wright said New York residents could later find themselves “on the hook” for medical costs if they have serious complications from egg extraction procedures.
President Obama signed an executive order in March ending a ban more than eight years old on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.
“At this moment, the full promise of stem cell research remains unknown, and it should not be overstated,” Obama said on March 9. “But scientists believe these tiny cells may have the potential to help us understand, and possibly cure, some of our most devastating diseases and conditions.”
While announcing the move, Obama said his administration would make “scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology.”
“Today, with the executive order I am about to sign, we will bring the change that so many scientists and researchers, doctors and innovators, patients and loved ones have hoped for, and fought for, these past eight years: We will lift the ban on federal funding for promising embryonic stem cell research,” Obama said. “We will vigorously support scientists who pursue this research. And we will aim for America to lead the world in the discoveries it one day may yield.”