Bioethics Blogs

Updates: The California Legislature and the Market in Human Eggs

A fertility industry-sponsored bill that would expand the market in human eggs is barreling its way through the California legislature, in spite of opposition from women’s health, reproductive justice, and public interest organizations. AB 2531 would overturn a California law that lets researchers reimburse women for their expenses incurred in providing eggs, but disallows payments beyond that. The 2006 statute that AB 2531 would eviscerate was authored by former state Senator Deborah Ortiz, known for championing both women’s health and stem cell research, and approved almost unanimously by both the Assembly and Senate.

In an April blog post, Will California Expand the Market for Women’s Eggs?, we summarized the reasons for opposing AB 2531 (see also this CGS letter) and reported that it had been unanimously approved by the Assembly Health Committee. In early June, the Senate Health Committee posted its analysis of the bill, including a summary of the arguments for and against it, and a list of its supporters and opponents.

The Committee passed the bill on a vote of 8-1 at a June 15 hearing. Testimony by CGS’s Elliot Hosman against it can be viewed here (starting at 52:35), or read at the end of this post. The full Senate will vote on AB 2531 when it returns from recess in early August; assuming it is passed, it will then be sent to Governor Brown for his signature or veto. The Governor vetoed an almost identical bill in 2013 with the following message:

Not everything in life is for sale nor should it be.

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.