Monday, March 9, 2009

Eggs for Sale?

Women are oftentimes the first and hardest hit during economic downturns. They can act as the barometer of financial weather: look for numbers of women getting the pink slip and pay cuts. Believe it or not, there are still employers who do so with the draconian idea that women always have a man to look after them; hence, it is okay to lay off the female workers first.

However, for many single parent households, it is the women who are the sole breadwinners. Married women contribute to the financial health of their family. Often times, you hear daughters setting aside money for their parents, but quite often you hear that sons do not do the same: they have their own nuclear family to support and cannot afford to do so.

There are reports that in this time of economic crisis, women are resorting to selling parts of their body. No, not the oldest profession (although motherhood is the oldest job, and to this day, still no hazard pay, pension or days off), but selling their eggs. Egg harvesting is risky, painful and financially rewarding. A sperm donation is worth only USD 60 at fertility clinics, but eggs can fetch up to USD 10,000. Many young college women have been lured with the promise of paying back student loans with something that their body discard monthly anyway. They put not just their future fertility on the table, but also their health and life. Stimulating ovulation puts undue stress on the body and the long term effect is not known, as the practice of egg donation started as recent as 14 years ago.

But seriously, what a tempting offer.

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