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Paying Foreign Women for Eggs is Kind of Prostitution Says Fertility Expert

by Fiona Hamilton and Hannah Devlin,  Time Online U.K.,  Sept 19, 2009

British couples who travel abroad for IVF treatment and buy other women’s eggs are engaging in a form of prostitution, a fertility conference was told yesterday.

In an attack on the “fertility tourism” industry, Naomi Pfeffer warned that increasing numbers of “vulnerable women in developed countries” were being exploited by Westerners who were desperate to conceive.

Her comments, likely to reignite the debate on the ban on paying for eggs and sperm in Britain, were backed up by Lord Winston, the fertility expert and broadcaster. He told The Times: “She’s right, basically. It’s a form of exploitation.”

A recent study revealed that hundreds of British couples were travelling to Europe for IVF treatment every month. University College London researchers have estimated that at least 20,000 to 25,000 cross-border fertility treatments are being carried out on the Continent each year.
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