Human Genetics Alert

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For immediate release November 19th 2011

Human Genetics Alert comments on HFEA decision to award £750 compensation for egg donation

Dr David King, Director of Human Genetics Alert, said: "This is a disgraceful decision which puts young women's health at risk. By creating a financial incentive the HFEA is ensuring that the risks of egg donation are dumped on young women in financial difficulties. Anyone who think £750 is not a financial incentive knows nothing about life on income support or with your students fees tripled. And we know from experience in many countries that when incentives are available that women's health suffers.”

“We already know that a £750 payment, as they have in Spain, creates a financial incentive which explains the surplus of egg donors there. Are Spanish women so much more altruistic than British? Why was there a massive spike in egg donor applications in Spain when the financial crisis hit in 2008?”

“In reality, this is about the interests of the IVF industry in stopping the flow of IVF business to Spain, which is why we've heard so much from the HFEA about the disadvantages of going to Spain for customers, but nothing about risks to donors.”

“The British public is strongly opposed to this, as the HFEA's MORI poll shows. But that's irrelevant to the HFEA: in 2009 its Chair stated publicly that she supported straightforward payment for eggs (which is illegal). Are we expected to believe that the HFEA would turn round and humiliate its new chair by deciding something different?  They have simply found a lophole, a way to call payment 'compensation'.”

Dr David King can be reached on 07854 256040. However, he will be unavailable between noon and 6pm today.

Human Genetics Alert is an independent watchdog group that supports abortion rights.