Brown rejects bill to pay egg donors for research

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill that would have made it legal to pay women to stimulate and harvest their reproductive eggs for research, saying “not everything in life is for sale nor should it be.”

The bill by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, was intended to protect women from exploitation when they serve as research subjects. It would have allowed them to be compensated for the time, discomfort and inconvenience of producing the eggs.

Current law prohibits human oocytes or embryos from being acquired, sold, offered for sale, received or traded for medical research. Bonilla has said the statute stymies fertility research, as it is the only area of medical research in which subjects are not compensated.

However, Brown said in his veto message late Tuesday that genuine informed consent by women who participate in such medical research is difficult, because the long-term risks are unknown, and AB926 would not solve them.

“Putting thousands of dollars on the table only compounds this problem,” Brown wrote.

He said the Legislature passed the current regulations with near unanimity six years ago, and he sees no reason to change course.

Bonilla called Brown’s veto “a regressive action that denies thousands of women the prospect of medical fertility breakthroughs.”

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