NEW YORK, NY/July 28, 2010 – The infertility industry has a dirty little secret that is dressed in deceptive advertising, large monetary incentives and appeals to altruism. Using these tactics, the industry targets young, vulnerable women for a precious commodity: human eggs. Eggsploitation, a new documentary released today by The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network, is a tragic spotlight on the booming and risky business of selling eggs, and reveals the health risks and exploitation of women through egg donation. Eggsploitation debuts at The Little Theatre in Rochester, New York, on Monday, August 9, 2010 at 5:00 p.m.
Eggsploitation profiles three highly educated young women—Calla, Alexandra and Sindy—all who suffered extreme health consequences related to their egg donation. Dangerous health complications can occur during the egg donation process as a result of taking high doses of fertility drugs or the egg retrieval surgery, or both. Their disturbing testimonies about their experience with egg donation are a wake-up call to a highly unregulated, multi-billion-dollar industry that is jeopardizing young women’s health at the expense of fulfilling another’s desire to have a baby.
Calla suffered a stroke, brain damage and loss of her own fertility; Alexandra lost an ovary due to complications related to superovulation and later developed breast cancer; and Sindy developed severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). All three women nearly died due to the complications associated with their egg donation. In an interview for the film, Calla recounts, “The industry knew that this would happen sooner or later. They’ve just been rolling the dice and it fell on me. It was worth the money to them.”
With the rise of assisted reproductive technology, young, healthy women are targeted on university campuses with advertisements in college newspapers and on the internet. Fertility clinics place advertisements in search of egg donors with desirable genetic traits, attractive appearance and a high IQ. These women are lured by the large sums of money and assured of the safety of the procedure and the nobility of helping others.
Egg donation is presented as a safe procedure, but the reality is quite the opposite. Eggsploitation blows the whistle on the disturbing realities of the infertility industry’s human egg trade. This film is a call to action to egg donors and the general public to confront the exploitative practices of egg donation and seek legislative action to protect women’s health.
For more information, visit www.eggsploitation.com.
About The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network: Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network (CBC) was founded with a vision to educate and engage the public on bioethical issues, including stem cell research, reproductive technology, human cloning and euthanasia. The CBC is actively involved in supporting many states in legislative advocacy and public policy on these issues. The CBC’s first documentary, Lines That Divide, was an official selection of the 2010 California Independent Film Festival