New Calif. law stops big payouts for egg donors, adds protections

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Nov. 6, 2006

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A new California statute outlaws generous compensation to women who donate oocytes for privately funded embryonic stem cell research. Under the measure that California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed in late September, egg donors still are able to be reimbursed for direct expenses such as transportation to and from appointments.

Several women's groups supporting the new law argue that payments of $5,000 and more can induce poor women to take unnecessary medical risks. Two physician groups, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists oppose the law, saying that women deserve to be compensated for advancing research and helping couples have children.

The law defines egg donors as human research subjects, meaning that federal and state laws governing clinical trials will apply. Women also must be fully informed about the risks of fertility drugs used during the process, which include ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.

California's Proposition 71, which promises $3 billion in state bond money for stem cell research, already prohibits big payments to egg donors.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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