Economist: New Lawsuit Charges Gender Bias Against Egg Donors


In the wake of a new lawsuit, The Economist asks, "Competition for eggs is fierce, is it fair?":

...donations of eggs, unlike those of sperm, take a lot more than a porn magazine and a plastic cup. Before arriving at a clinic to make donations, women have to inject themselves for three weeks with medication. They are called in to give blood samples and undergo vaginal ultrasound tests. Then, on the day of donation, they undergo an uncomfortable extraction procedure which involves a very long needle and punctured ovaries. In the best cases, it takes a day to recover; in the worst, they end up in hospital. Ms Kamakahi argues that any price that does not take that extra commitment and suffering into account is a price that is restrained.

Ms Kamakahi’s lawyers argue that the industry’s agreement to keep prices low constitutes a “conspiracy in restraint of trade”, in breach of antitrust law. They say that the anticompetitive pricing arrangements mean that, while Ms Kamakahi and other egg donors have been prevented from earning their due, the clinics have been reaping extra profits. The lawsuit puts revenues from the egg trade at $80m a year.