VETO AB 926
This petition made change with 22 supporters!
Assemblywoman Bonilla introduced bill AB 926 that would remove the prohibition on paying women to donate their eggs for research purposes, which passed on July 1, 2013. http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140AB926
I am a 27 year, UCLA graduate, healthy and generous woman who would love to help promote research and/or help couples who are having difficulty conceiving have a child and start a family. HOWEVER, I OPPOSE AB 926 as is.
Why? There is too little information and data regarding the harvesting of human eggs which the artificial fertility industry has opposed. If this was a safe procedure/process why would they object to the documentation of the effects of the process? Even in the absence of the data, reports, studies, or research, the datum, i.e. the stories and testimonies of past donors who have suffered adverse side effects of their donation and the process demands to be heard.
Currently, women who donate their eggs for reproductive purposes may receive compensation for the time and inconvenience/health risks associated with the process. However, by allowing payment for research-destined egg donation, an entire new industry is created, one that will likely have a disparate adverse impact on low-income women – targeting them and their situations of need.
I would know. I have entertained many different ideas as I have endured very hard economic times. In order to be potentially compensated thousands of dollars, the egg donors will undergo invasive medical procedures with significant health risks - which include kidney damage and damage to other internal organs, nicked arteries and internal bleeding, complications of ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome (OHSS), and increased risk of various cancers. Additionally, they themselves may become sterile and unable to have their own natural children.
In that sense, this bill would be just like legalizing prostitution for the sake of research. Research is a mighty cause; just as feeding yourself or other family members. Similarly, many women enslaved by prostitution may "choose" to enter the dark world, but many are trapped by the consequences of their choices and are often physically suffering for the rest of their life or die.
As a young woman who is struggling financially, I am telling you that I can see the benefits. I understand that the proponents for this bill argue and believe the donation of eggs for research should be no different than the donation of anything else currently given; but you are talking about the ability to have a family. In other donation cases, the benefit the volunteer receives from participating in the study of perhaps a new drug or etc. is that the drug/process works unlike anything else. They are usually weighing the pro of relieving pain of some sort versus the side effects. There is a sense of win or lose. In this case, the only win is money and potential results of research which may or may not prove successful.
Don't put American women, especially CA women in similar situations to parents in other third-world countries who sell their children into slavery - often the sex industry.
I am not saying the idea behind the bill is wrong; donating eggs for research is a woman's right and she should be fairly compensated for her participation. HOWEVER, the woman needs to be presented more information about the side effects in their respective languages and visually (through info-graphics) so they are able to make a decision with more than just "I need money, I don't want kids right now, I'm healthy, why not?" If the fertility and research industries strongly believe in the benefits of egg harvesting, then they should not oppose giving women more information along with that compensation.
Yet, as Leah Campbell tells the UT San Diego, "I will admit that my case is unique, but it is not unheard of. In fact, not long after my initial infertility diagnosis, the agency I donated through informed me they had a long history of working with former egg donors who went on to encounter their own fertility problems. They said they would love the opportunity to help me find an egg donor if I ever decided to pursue that path to family building." http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/Jul/11/paying-women-to-take-big-risk/?#article-copy
As you can see, it is not unthinkable that the egg donation agency's motive for not tracking/providing information about the issues that donors may experience is because those donors may become clients by withholding the information.
Governor Brown, you have an unprecedented opportunity to set the standard that CA demands fair and sufficient information for its people and therefore the rest of the country should too as well. We are learning about how much we don't know and the ugly consequences resulting. YOU CAN CHANGE THIS. You can require that the industry provide information that the existing artificial fertility industry is currently choosing to hide or not collect with potential motives as suggested.
VETO AB 926 and at the very least, DEMAND the suggested amendments below - so you are signing something you feel comfortable with = not something "not bad".
If I were to say, let's just help the current situation without harming anyone else additionally, then, the bill should only be Section 125356.
From the text of the bill, I point out:
(h) All patients, including those participating in research are due a reasonable duty of care. In addition, all women undergoing ovarian stimulation and oocyte retrieval have another layer of regulation as all cycles are reported to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
>> The law does not specify the reasonable duty of care and the women's rights or what will enforce such duty and deal with complaints if the woman is not given such care? <<
(i) Sufficient protections are in place to treat women providing human oocytes for research, similar to any other research subject, knowing women are competent and able to make decisions for themselves.
>> How is this true? I can't find "sufficient" information about the risks and testimonies of women who have suffered as a result of their donation. Forcing/allowing someone to make a hard decisions when in a position of great stress and difficulty doesn't mean a competent and rational person would be able to make the "right" decision that they would make if they were in a less stressful situation. <<
Section 125355. Notwithstanding Section 125350, a woman providing human oocytes for research shall be compensated for her time, ASSUMPTION OF HEALTH IMPACT AND/OR RISK, discomfort, and inconvenience in the same manner as other research subjects. Payment pursuant to this section shall not be for the human oocytes themselves or predicated on the number of oocytes obtained, including if no human oocytes are obtained. Whether a proposed compensation amount is appropriate shall be determined by a human subject research panel or institutional review board. In the event that a human subject research panel or institutional review board determines that a proposed compensation amount is inappropriate, the panel or board shall determine an appropriate compensation amount.
>> The bill should be amended to include the revision in all caps. <<
(end of sample of bill text)
Governor Brown, I and the petition signers urge you to VETO AB 926 and demand something better.
**I do not represent any organization and the petition content is my own unless expressly cited; However, I may have accidentally borrowed verbage from what I read as I did research.** - Monica
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