[ View the story "Egg freezing: Putting pregnant workers on ice" on Storify] Egg freezing: Putting pregnant workers on ice The Stream explores why some companies are offering the medical procedure to female employees.
The Stream· Thu, Oct 23 2014 16:34:40
US-based tech giants Apple and Facebook
to contribute to the costs of egg freezing for their female employees and spouses, a move that both companies
will address the tech industry’s widening
. Facebook has already
to contribute up to $20,000 toward
, a highly
process of egg extraction, freezing and maintenance.
Apple and Facebook to offer egg freezing to their female employees. There are no guarantees in life but I think this is a brilliant thing.Maïa Dunphy
the announcement is a positive step and will allow achievements in both professional and family life. Because the likelihood of conceiving
with age, individuals are forced to decide between advancing their careers and motherhood. But proponents
egg freezing would eliminate that decision.
Others believe the move only perpetuates gender inequalities and serves as a tactic by employers to
egg freezing is only one of many policies needed to accommodate female employees.
Would much rather FB/Apple give me $20K towards a robot nanny▵ Jenna Wortham ▵
Those taking advantage of the policy are still likely to have children mid-career and will rely on benefits like paid maternity leave and childcare, necessities that women
to fight for in the workplace.
Moreover, the associated health risks have
concerns. While the technology was no longer
“experimental” by the
The American Society of Reproductive Medicine
(ASRM), they have yet to endorse egg freezing for elective use, citing a lack of data on “the safety, efficacy, cost-effectiveness, and emotional risks” associated with the process.
In a 2012
ASRM wrote, “Marketing this technology for the purpose of deferring childbearing may give women false hope and encourage women to delay childbearing."
host egg freezing cocktail
for those considering the process. As egg freezing becomes more mainstream, some have
a similarity between marketing tactics used in both the fertility and plastic surgery industries.
The Stream community weighed in on the discussion. Some believe having the choice relieves the pressures associated with career-life balance:
@AJStream : I think it would give women the opportunity to focus without much anxiety on their professional dev. especially at "no cost".Onazare
I don't think it sends a bad message to women especially because the same companies' insurance plans also cover the costs of prenatal care and birthing babies. I think it sends women the message that they have a choice to have children when they are ready to.Heather Dixon
@AJStream it's allowing the women who want it a guilt free way to advance their careers, have healthy eggs, and have kids when ready.Azeem Khan
One woman shared her experience with egg freezing on Twitter:
Others expressed concerns about egg freezing policies in the workplace:
@AJStream The premise seems to be that women at these companies should prioritise their careers at the expense of their families. IVF, 1.Janaka Malwatta
@AJStream It makes women have to chose when they shouldn't have to. It makes pregnancy seem like a communicable disease you have to avoidTrudy
@AJStream also will other reproductive choices be supported alongside the egg freezing? Will women be counseled & educated on reality?Emma Apple
@AJStream 1st step is to speak to a doctor & get all the facts abt it. Freezing eggs is no guarantee for having children, only a precautionZahira
Many pointed to the importance of policies that support family planning:
@AJStream I love that this could potentially be paid for, but it must remain optional. Laws protecting family planning are more important.JNR
@AJStream I think it's fine as AN option, not THE option. Should be accompanied by accommodations for those who have kids while working too.Emma Apple
@AJStream They would do better to pay for quality, onsite childcareMary Fletcher Jones