WASHINGTON (March 8, 2007)— On March 8, International Women's Day, the Pro-Life Secretariat of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops applauded Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) for co-sponsoring "Trading on the Female Body," a congressional briefing on the risks egg harvesting poses to women's health and safety.
Deirdre A. McQuade, Director of Planning and Information for the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, said: "The embryonic stem cell agenda is a threat not only to embryonic humans but to young women as well."
"The drugs used by in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics to stimulate women's ovaries for attempted reproduction have done great harm to some women," Ms. McQuade said, "But this problem pales by comparison with the threat posed by attempts to clone humans for embryonic stem cell research. In the recent South Korean scandal, hundreds of women were paid to endanger their health without their informed consent."
"This concern is timely in light of renewed efforts in Congress to fund destructive embryonic stem cell research in the name of pursuing cures," Ms. McQuade said.
"If a treatment for a major disease ever were to arise from this approach, it would require moving beyond the so-called 'spare' embryos frozen in IVF clinics, to creating huge numbers of embryos (by IVF or cloning) solely for medical research. That means treating a great many women as egg factories, at great risk to their health and safety," Ms. McQuade explained.
"Minority and impoverished women," she said, "would be particularly vulnerable to exploitation."