Monday, May 14, 2007

Pete Sessions favors dangerous "egg harvesting"

We all know that Pete Sessions is against embryonic stem cell research. He wants fertility clinics to throw away unused embryos instead of reclaiming them for use in the cure of diseases like Parkinson's or diabetes.

Now, he's come out in favor of stem cell research, provided it comes from egg harvesting, a dangerous, potentially life-threatening procedure.

Pete Sessions calls egg harvesting a "minimally invasive procedure." There's a great article by Jennifer Lahl in today's Dallas Morning News, in which she asks if men would think the same thing if such a procedure was done to them:
One wonders, however, if these Southern gentlemen would still believe egg extraction was "minimally invasive" if it were done to men?

Here's what that would require: Donors would inject themselves daily with a hormone to first, shut down their testicular function. Then we'd shift to daily injections of another hormone that would cause their testicular function to go into warp speed and their testes to swell to abnormal size.

These daily injections would prepare the men to undergo a surgical procedure with anesthesia whereby a catheter with a needle at the end would be inserted into the testes to remove large quantities of sperm. After extraction, about 5 percent of the men would suffer side effects ranging from infection, damage to their future fertility and, in a few cases, even death.
Women see these ads in the paper all the time, asking for egg donors. College students looking to make good money in a hurry might be tempted by the prospect of making $15,000 for their eggs. But the procedure is hardly "minimally invasive," as Ms. Lahl reminds us:
Simple and minimally invasive? Risks associated with ovarian stimulation such as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome – which can cause stroke, organ failure, even death. Risks associated with anesthesia. Risks associated with the needle aspiration of the eggs from the ovaries which can cause internal hemorrhage.
Read more about the dangers of egg donation at The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network and at Jennifer Lahl's blog The Human Future.