Reproductive technologies were in the headlines when Facebook and Apple announced they would offer female employees a $20,000 benefit to freeze their eggs. According to the report, this enables women to delay child bearing for different reasons and gives women more control. The announcement states that egg freezing is a pricey but increasingly popular option for women: The procedure typically costs up to $10,000, with an additional $500 for storage each year. After freezing eggs, in vitro fertilisation (IVF) can be used afterwards.
I wish to start with a disclaimer: I’m totally for increasing control and flexibility with reproductive technologies, I think the possibility as such is great, I cheer if some women genuinely wish to use this option, and I totally recognize that Facebook and Apple are just giving an option. However, there is room for questions. First, individual-level solutions are suggested where the actual issue is likely to be socially constructed, and secondly, IVF is seen merely as a handy option. These two are discussed in the following.
Social issues, individual solutions
What is the phenomenon that we are trying to solve? Apparently: many women struggle with connecting childbearing and careers. Is this a problem in women’s biology or work life and society? What is the reasonable target of intervention? To what should we put major efforts?
First, as asked in Wired, do we really want to support a society that requires us to work so hard that there is no time to raise children for those who wish to do so?
The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.