PHOENIX — A House panel voted Thursday to criminalize the practice of buying and selling human eggs.
The 6-2 Judiciary Committee vote came after Rep. Bob Stump, R-Peoria, told colleagues that the methods used to harvest the eggs are potentially unsafe for women. Stump also said it is no more moral to sell human eggs than to sell body parts, a practice that already is illegal.
Part of his motive, he said, is to throw a roadblock into cloning research, a practice that often starts with human eggs.
House Bill 2142, which now goes to the full House, would subject violators, whether donors or companies that buy the eggs, to up to a year in jail.
Women could still donate eggs, whether for fertilization or research. But they could not get "money or other valuable consideration."
The call for human eggs, advertised in campus publications and some free weeklies, apparently can be lucrative: One company's classified ad says women can earn up to $24,000 for six separate egg donations.
"College women are targeted in particular," Stump said.
He said the practice of paying for eggs can also lead to the exploitation of poor women.
No one testified Thursday against the measure.