Chicks protect their eggs


Gold Member
Jul 5, 2004
“Wow. I never really thought about that.”

That’s the response Jennifer Lahl says she gets “over and over again” when she talks to people about “the women’s health and safety” concerns at the heart of the debate over embryonic-stem-cell research and cloning.

Lahl is a spokeswoman for a nonpartisan group with an international reach called “Hands Off Our Ovaries,” which seeks “a moratorium on egg extraction for research purposes until such time as global discourse and scientific research yields information sufficient to establish adequate informed consent.”

The organization was launched earlier this year on International Women’s Day in March as “a 2006 version of bra burning,” Lahl jokes. The movement is deadly serious, though: She hopes that the Hands Off Our Ovaries message — uniting pro-life and pro-choice women, conservatives and liberal feminists — can serve as a wake-up call to folks who have just never thought through the hows of such complicated and controversial research. Obviously, Lahl says, people know you don’t get the necessary eggs for cloning embryos from a basket. But unless they’ve had extensive experience with infertility issues (and egg “donation”), most busy Americans will have this issue completely off their radars.

Already routine at fertility clinics, egg donation is an unpleasant process that includes prodding and surgery; “donors” (sometimes highly paid) are given hormones to ensure they produce more than the routine monthly amount of eggs — more means a better shot at success. This largely unregulated industry (an estimated $38 million one) has paid little attention to the potential long-term harm from such hyperstimulation. As two bioethicists from Stanford declared last year in an article in Science magazine, at a minimum women should be made aware both that the risks include infertility and even death and that their “donations,” in the case of embryonic-stem-cell research and cloning, may never actually contribute to a cure for anything.

The Hands Off Our Ovaries cautionary message and call for a moratorium on hyperstimulated cloning research may have the opportunity to be heard like never before in the run-up to Election Day. In response to a dramatic plea by Parkinson’s sufferer Michael J. Fox for Missourians to vote against Republican Jim Talent because of his opposition to cloning (my c-word, not Fox’s; the gist of Fox’s disingenuous commercial for Democrat Claire McCaskill is, essentially, that Talent is a mean man who doesn’t like sick people, or at least doesn’t want them to get well), a counter ad is scheduled to air Wednesday night in Saint Louis during game four of the World Series. This ad may be the first time many Missourians hear of the egg factor in the embryonic-stem-cell-research debate.

A ballot initiative is the reason for the ad wars. Amendment 2 would write a constitutional right to human cloning into the state constitution, putting the complicated issue above the reach of the elected legislature.

The anti-Amendment 2 ad is a good, celeb-filled response to Michael J. Fox’s platitudinous and dishonest pull at the heartstrings. It features Jim Caveziel (from The Passion of the Christ), Cardinals pitcher Jeff Suppan, and others. And proclaiming the Hands Off Our Ovaries kind of message is Patricia Heaton, best known for playing Ray Romano’s wife on Everybody Loves Raymond. During the minute-long commercial, Heaton (who, as a spokeswoman for Feminists for Life, is no stranger to such activism) says:

Amendment 2 actually makes it a constitutional right for fertility clinics to pay women for eggs. Low-income women will be seduced by big checks and extracting donor eggs is an extremely complicated, dangerous, and painful procedure.

Jennifer Lahl is hopeful, for both the short and the long term. Speaking to National Review Online from Oakland, Calif. on Tuesday night, she noted that she’s a veteran of cloning-initiative fights, having seen one pass in 2004 in California — but asserted that this time, she seems something different happening: “I really think that the egg issue is going to make a difference.” Back during the Golden State Proposition 71 campaign, cloning proponents “could get away with a Michael J. Fox ad.” This time, though, there is another side ready — one offering a coordinated message, and a reasonable, alternative sober message to counter the usual unsubstantiated hype.
It's not as if scientists are going out into the night and stealing eggs from unsuspecting, sleeping women. Women donate them on their own and they get paid thousands of dollars to do so. I didn't even include the women who donate because they want to have kids. This is the f*cking stupidest thing I've ever read. It sounds like something Pat Robertson dreamed up. When women donate their eggs to a lab and the lab pays them $10,000 for them, the lab can do whatever they want with them. Furthermore, every ad I've ever seen calling for women to donate their eggs explicitly states the health risk of doing so. The risk is why they get paid $10,000. You "never really thought about that" because you apparently don't think at all. And apparently Jennifer Lahl doesn't either. This whole argument is ridiculous. If some woman donated her eggs and the doctor didn't tell her that the surgery would hurt, then she either has a basis for a lawsuit or she needs to have the doctor give her a CAT scan as well to see if her brain is even in her head--I don't know which. Think about what you're arguing against. Every time you support or pay attention to ludicrous bullsh*t like this you're supporting the stance of not doing scientific research that could lead to medical cures for the worst plagues of mankind on the basis that it kills embryos--EMBRYOS. POSSIBLE human beings. My nuts create possible human beings everyday but I have yet to meet the secret service detail charged with guarding my sack. And yet I'm sure you support the death penalty and I'm sure that you support the current war. I am also sure that you haven't done anything to ease the suffering and genocide happening in Darfur or to help the thousands still living in squalor right here in the US have you? You're a hypocrit who finds solace in appearing righteous by putting-out the impression that you care about human life. If I were a woman, I would donate my eggs for a $10,000 check. And if they used the eggs for scientific research I wouldn't care because I'd have a $10,000 check in my hand.

This largely unregulated industry
You know, for a so-called Republican you sure do favor a sh*t-ton of federal government regulation when it comes to things like scientific research, but god forbid we use government resources to feed, clothe or supply healthcare to people. :rolleyes:

*If you don't repost this within five minutes Jesus won't love you anymore*
Your impassioned liberal response tells me I'm really onto something. You dredge up Pat Robertson and everything....this could very well become a big issue like abortion. It's not just eggs, but eggs that later get fertilized by sperm. An embryo is a fertilized egg - the beginning of human life. A clone would also be a human life, is it not? Should this life be "experimented with" in the laboratories? And is it wrong to have concern about the women donating the eggs? Would you let me pay you $10,000 for your life? Two women recently died in UK from egg harvesting. Further research brings to light some very interesting reading:

Hands Off Our Ovaries! 4/4/2006
By Cara Cook

Women start new campaign to combat egg harvesting.

A new Web site dedicated to ending biotechnological research that exploits women expresses the growing alarm at the prospect of extensive harvesting and marketing of human eggs with its mantra, “Keep your hands off our ovaries!”

An alliance of women, including pro-choice feminists who recognize the problems, introduced the “Hands Off Our Ovaries” campaign on March 8 to enjoin its viewers to sign the Web site’s manifesto, which condemns biotechnological research that harms women, and to educate about the risks of egg extraction, wherein a woman is given powerful hormones that cause her to produce multiple eggs.

Egg harvesting has incited protests from pro-life and pro-choice advocates alike. Both sides argue that reliance on women’s eggs for research purposes easily leads to exploitation, particularly of low-income, needy women who could benefit financially.

A recent scandal in South Korea justifies these concerns. Dr. Hwang Woo-suk used more than 2,000 extracted eggs and finally failed to produce a cloned embryo, while payment, compulsion, and lying were used to acquire the eggs from women.

Health risks are also a considerable factor in arguments against the procedure. Two women who have undergone egg extraction in the United Kingdom in the last year have died after developing severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), which causes rapid accumulation of fluid in the abdomen, chest, and around the heart. Symptoms include severe pelvic pain, nausea, vomiting, weight gain, ovarian enlargement, respiratory problems, blood clots and liver dysfunction.

According to a congressional testimony by Diane Beeson, a medical sociologist and professor emerita of sociology at California State University, East Bay, “Those who develop severe OHSS may experience a wide range of serious conditions including loss of future fertility, kidney or multiple organ failure, and death. The frequency of severe OHSS is estimated to be as high as 10 per cent of women who undergo the procedure.”

Beeson, a founder of the “Hands Off Our Ovaries” campaign, also says that not only are women at risk when they take the fertility drugs that cause OHSS, but potentially their children. Studies of mice with OHSS demonstrate significant abnormalities in offspring, including growth retardation, bone development delays, and a rib deformity which is associated with other abnormalities and cancer in humans.

Many argue that if egg harvesting is to become widely endorsed for the purposes of stem- cell research and therapeutic cloning, the number of cases of severe OHSS will rise considerably. Dr. David Prentice of the Family Research Council points out that of the 80 million women who would be required for egg harvesting to treat diabetes alone, at least 800,000 would experience OHSS.

Moreover, in order to treat the 127 to 128 million Americans with common deadly diseases, 6.4 billion human eggs would be needed. About 640 million women would be required to provide these eggs. Given that only about 60 million women in the U.S. are of reproductive age, large-scale egg harvesting is not only dangerous, but also unfeasible.

“Many people have been won over to support cloning and embryo research, but that’s before they know that it requires women’s eggs,” said Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America. “This latest effort should enlighten people to how dangerous pursuing this research will be to women, and that opposition to this immoral research goes beyond Christian conservatives to include a variety of people.”

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