By Robin von Halle

California has passed a new law requiring the state’s fertility industry to post health risk warnings in their egg donation ads. Advertisements must now encourage women to consult with reproductive health care specialists before making any decisions.

Good advice. But it’s misplaced. The legislation does nothing to solve the problems it addresses. Without demanding real reform or offering practical guidance, it may do little more than spook women.

The law says nothing about requiring businesses to follow the donation guidelines written by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine. The law doesn’t have any power to enforce good-conduct practices like minimum compensation or mandatory medical insurance for donors and surrogates.

California lawmakers failed to work with the people who know most about the problems and potentials of fertility treatment: the industry itself. ARR has always recognized the need for a strong ethical backbone within our practice. Ours is an industry steeped in trust — but also legal transparency. That’s why ARR established a code of ethics, based off of ASRM guidelines. We guarantee our surrogates and donors fair compensation and comprehensive medical care. It’s why we vet every donor in our database to ensure they’re healthy in mind and body, fully aware of the risks and rewards that come with helping another conceive.

If California were truly interested in protecting women from irresponsible and predatory businesses, it would work with us rather than excluding us from the process. Instead it’s done nothing more than disorient women and turn them off from what is a safe and often richly fulfilling experience.

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