Pregnant woman does yoga in New York 370 (R).
(photo credit: Shannon Stapleton / Reuters)
After only seven Israeli women donated their eggs to help infertile women
conceive in the last year – when a law was passed allowing them NIS 9,000 in
compensation – the Knesset Labor, Social Affairs and Health Committee on Monday
raised the sum to NIS 20,000.
The committee said it increased the amount
because it thought more women would donate ova with increased compensation. The
procedure is complicated and painful, involving the taking of hormones and
undergoing surgery under general anesthetic to remove extra eggs.
recipient will continue to make a NIS 9,000 payment to the donor, while the
Health Ministry will, for the first time, round out the payment from its own
budget. The hike will go into effect retroactively back to May
Committee chairman MK Haim Katz (Likud) said his committee would
study the results of the increased payment to see if it is effective and if the
health of donors and their rights are being protected.
Levy-Abecassis (Yisrael Beytenu) worried that women would endanger their bodies
to pocket the money.
Ofra Balaban of the Chen Lapuryon organization
opposed the change, saying that the number of ova donations would grow, causing
a “logjam in the ministry, which wouldn’t transfer the money in time. Only two
of the 27 IVF units in the country bother to carry out the egg donation law
Prof. Gad Potashnik, fertility adviser to Clalit Health Services,
said that “fertility physicians today are not paid fairly for their involvement
so it was no surprise that the egg donation program is not being carried
The law is “immoral,” charged Dr.
Ya’acov Segal, who is in
charge of obstetrics on Maccabi Health Services.
“It is organ
trafficking. You take a young woman and fill her up with [hormones that cause]
side effects just to earn money,” he said.
director-general Prof. Ronni Gamzu said that “many women who want babies lack a
solution and the state cannot send them abroad to look for eggs. Unlike other
countries, we have established a law to regulate the process. It’s hard to
forbid private companies abroad run by Israeli doctors. As for payment to the
health funds, fertility treatments are included in the basket of health services
provided by the state. In addition, we are looking into the possibility of
creating a bank of donated ova [from women undergoing fertility treatment] and
However, some have suggested that while non-Jewish women
abroad are willing to “sell their eggs,” Jewish women have a different culture
and don’t like the idea of children from their ova wandering around the world
and not knowing who they are.