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FOR SALE ON INTERNET: FASHION MODELS' EGGS
To the horror and disgust of mainstream infertility groups, a fashion photographer has begun offering up
models as egg donors to the highest bidders, auctioning their ova* via the Internet to would-be parents
willing to pay up to $150,000 in hopes of having a beautiful child.
"It screams of unethical behaviour," Sean Tipton, spokesman of the American Society of
Reproductive Medicine, said of the Web site, which was already up on the web on Friday and was to be
officially premiered Monday.
Infertility specialists deplored the Web site as exactly the kind of "commodification" of human
that they hoped to avoid.
Just this spring signs of movement in that direction came when a couple advertised they would pay
$50,000 for an egg from a tall, athletic top college student.
The photographer, Ron Harris, justifies
the egg auction as a natural outgrowth of the urge humans have to mate with
genetically superior people and produce babies with evolutionary advantages. (…)
"If you could increase the chance of reproducing beautiful children, and thus giving them an
advantage in society, would you?" he asks on the site. (…)
Since not all women are the same, he argued, what they are paid for their eggs "should be a price
that floats based on perceived value."
Mr. Harris's melding of Darwin-based eugenics, Playboy-style sensibilities (…) struck some infertility
groups as the most worrying sign yet of where the partly unregulated field of "assisted reproduction" may
"It's frightening and horrible," said Sheldan Smith, director of the Egg Donor Program, a center in
Los Angeles, "and the worst part for me is to think there might be something worse still beyond our
imagination. It seems to escalate, and ever since the Internet, it seems to snowball more rapidly, this
depersonalization of people and selling of eggs."
She and others said that as far as they knew, Mr. Harris's site was legal. Federal law expressly