Bioethics News

Infertility treatments or an attempt to delay having children?

Suppsosed suuport for infertility tratements featured by Apple and Facebook  is really an interest in employers “care for loved ones and raise their families”?

Introduction.

Last 15th October, NBC News featured a news story that was then picked up by a national newspaper[1], which discussed an initiative promoted by Apple and Facebook to “continue to expand our benefits for women, with a new extended maternity leave policy, along with cryopreservation and egg storage as part of our extensive support for infertility treatments”, as the report literally stated. It continued: “We want to empower women at Apple to do the best work of their lives as they care for loved ones and raise their families”.

The initiative however, is not free from controversy, as the article itself states. And not without reason.

After the unquestionable goodness contained in measures such as paid maternity leave, medical cover in the facilities themselves, 4,000 dollars in “baby-cash” to Facebook employees when they become parents (and if they adopt), maternity leave extended to four months (also for fathers and flexible) and subsidies for childcare in the offices, the company is now offering another – funding the cryopreservation of oocytes, for which Facebook covers up to 20,000 dollars, the normal cost of two rounds of egg freezing, enough to obtain around twenty eggs. Apple has committed to seconding the initiative from January next year.

Ovarian hyperstimulation

Obtaining oocytes (up to 20 in two stimulation cycles) requires stimulating multiple ovulation in the woman by administering drugs such as clomiphene, and is not free of risks.

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.