Woman in Tamil Nadu Compelled To Sell Her Eggs At Fertility Clinics

Woman in Tamil Nadu Compelled To Sell Her Eggs At Fertility Clinics
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Woman in Tamil Nadu Compelled To Sell Her Eggs At Fertility Clinics

Highlights

  • Being a donor is a euphemism for a Chennai-based woman who lives in an underprivileged neighbourhood because she received payment for every donation, which she used to pay off her debt.
  • She has already gone through menopause and sacrificed her eggs, blood, kidney, and a surrogate to support her family.

Being a donor is a euphemism for a Chennai-based woman who lives in an underprivileged neighbourhood because she received payment for every donation, which she used to pay off her debt. She is just 40 years old, but she has already gone through menopause and sacrificed her eggs, blood, kidney, and a surrogate to support her family.

The now-40-year-old Chennai woman started donating her eggs at age 33—after getting married at 15 and becoming a mother at 17. She continually gave three egg donations. She finished the cycles with a six-month interval between each donation, taking less than two years.

She had borrowed 50,000 at the time to marry off her first daughter. She also has a son and two other daughters. She had borrowed money from a local lender who frequently visited her slum residence.

Later they faced the hard times when they were not able to pay the debt and every day the people from whom she had borrowed the money verbally abused them. One morning as she watched this, an elderly woman approached her. She didn't know much about the woman other than the fact that she worked as a cleaner in the hospital. The elderly woman conceived the notion of giving away her eggs in order to get money and address her concerns.

Her four children first didn't concur and agreed to her decision. Later she convinced them. She then took the old woman with her to a private hospital. Her weight was 55 kg when the personnel measured her, and she afterwards had frequent ultrasounds. She initially received 10 hormone injections spaced out over one day.

The hospital then granted her 30,000, of which the old woman received 2000. She received 28,000 even though she was aware that her eggs fetch lakhs.

Meanwhile, activists claim that these women or egg donors are frequently accepted by fertility clinics via a network of agents. The ladies receive between 20,000 and 30,000 for selling their eggs, which is a significant increase above what they would typically make.

However, administering hormones and repeatedly stimulating ovaries to cause them to produce numerous eggs for retrieval may have a number of negative health effects.

Since most egg donors in India are poor women, the recent example of a 16-year-old girl's eggs being unlawfully donated to reproductive clinics around Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh has focused attention on how women are abused. The government of Tamil Nadu acted right away by seizing the four hospitals in the state and by arresting the family and mediators. The Madras high court is now hearing the matter.

The market for IVF egg donations is unregulated worldwide and includes women like the 40-year-old woman cited above. In order to control the proliferation of sperm and egg banks across the nation, the Lok Sabha enacted the Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill, 2020. The bill calls for harsh punishments for anyone found running illegal agencies, rackets, or organisations that engage in sex selection, the selling of human embryos or gametes, or other illegal acts. In June, it became effective.

According to M Subramanian, the health minister, only women between the ages of 21 and 34 who have already given birth are legally permitted to donate eggs. Additionally, a lady can only donate her eggs once. If the law is upheld, there is no issue. However, if there is a violation, our government will penalise hospitals severely.

He added that all districts have now been informed of the ART guidelines. One of the worst scenarios is the case of the child (the 16-year-old female) who was also sexually molested. That helped us learn more about this problem in-depth. Some are in favour of adult women donating their eggs. They claim it is better than prostitution and necessary for their livelihood.

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