By Brian Johnsrud
Recently, an uproar over the selling of eggs and sperm over the Internet has engulfed the media. A practice that has taken on for years, since it has hit the Internet and started auctioning off of supermodel eggs, moralists have started looking at it in a new light.
The core of these baby-biddings can be traced to one web site, www.ronsangels.com. A few weeks ago it opened its web site, offering something it says every American parent can desire, perfect offspring. Starting at $15,000, you can bid on eggs from supposedly beautiful and intelligent supermodels. For a fee of $24.95 a month, you have the option to view the donors credentials, bid, or view other auctions taking place.
Having already sold enhanced eggs, moralists from over the nation are protesting over these auctions. Dr. Cappy Rothman, Medical Director for California Cryobank and leading male infertility specialist, said This kind of gross misuse is irresponsible, especially when the sale of the eggs and sperm are used more as a publicity stunt than as a serious medical service. This type of misuse may surely provoke ill-conceived legislation that may ultimately limit the reproductive freedom for all.
Ron Harris, founder of Rons Angels, disagrees. He claims that it is simply a way of life of the 90s, and is definitely a serious decision. This is Darwins Natural Selection at its very best. The highest bidder gets youth, beauty and social skills. It is not our intention to suggest that we make a super society of only beautiful people. This site simply mirrors our current society, in that beauty usually goes to the highest bidder.
Because these sperm and egg banks have been going for years along with sales on the Internet, Harris so far hasnt broken any laws according to the American Association of Reproductive Medicine.
The process isnt exactly simple though. The bidding party must first have a lawyer with a signed contract of legalities, then after purchasing the egg have a trained doctor picked out to perform the necessary procedures, an extra cost. Then, there is always the question of, What if it doesnt work? In 1996 alone, more than 3,768 cycles of assisted reproductive technology (ART) were attempted with donor eggs resulting in only 1,849 babies.
Harris summarized his point by George Bernard Shaw. In the early 1900s, Shaw was approached by a beautiful opera singer who stated, We would have such beautiful babies, with my looks and your brains.
Being the intellectual that he was, Shaw responded with But my dear, imagine if the child had my looks and your brains.