People are buy women's eggs. The price ain't cheap. If you are tall, with sterling SAT scores, Ivy League, and without a family history of genetically related diseases, your egg can command $50,000.
A man with similar attributes can expect to sell his sperm for $1200.
Certainly the man does not carry the resulting embryo, but with modern technology, neither does the woman. The fertilized egg can be planted into another woman's womb ... at the proper moment in her cycle ... and there is about a one in five chance that it will "take."
Egg cost more because they are more difficult to "harvest." There are risk to the health of the female donor. The procedure may mean she can never have children and some women are opting to have eggs set aside for their own use when the harvesting takes place.
No this is happening today.
The developments in science are outflanking the political discourse which is getting stale. Harvard Business School Professor Debora Spar writes about the prices of sperm and eggs in her new book, "The Baby Business," ISBN 1-59139-620-4. She observes that contraception has made it possible to have sex without pregnancy, but today we can have pregnancy without sex.
Fundamentalists, among others, do not want school to teach students about sex, yet is this science something that can be taught to high school seniors in their biology class?
In the face of these changes, are the State legislatures even in step with the 21st century? With some 400,000 fertilized human eggs in various laboratories, what does this do to the belief that an fertilized egg has a "right to life." 400,000 "people" is the population of Alaska - enough people to earn a seat in the US House of Representatives.
Can selling an egg (or sperm) be prevented? Should it be prevented?
People who don't want to be pregnant are told they "must be." Many of those who can't get pregnant, want to be. They want to joy of carrying the child. Some who cannot carry the child will pay another woman to carry a child that is not genetically hers in any one - the most startling case being one where a woman of color (Filipina) carried a white couple's baby.
Is this what the folks in South Dakota, and elsewhere, are considering as they grind out anti-choice legislation. Who controls when, how, and if we breed?
Is seems the market forces have already shown themselves and international boarders are easy enough to cross.
We are on the edge of a tidal wave of bio-evolution.
I hope to be blogging more about Spar's book (I'm about half way through) and hope others, as well, may want to discuss the issues that it raises.