Well, Christine Quinn did say we were going after biotech: New York is going to pay women for their eggs, not to create an army of Mike Bloombergs but to be used in stem cell research. The Empire State Stem Cell Board is empowered to pay women up to $10,000 for ova, which puts us a leg up on every other state in the union, which observe the National Academy of Science guidelines that prohibit such payments and have to plead for donors. (Our Stem Cell Board flatly states that its Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight Committees “need not ensure that payment history complies with either NAS or [International Society of Stem Cell Research] Guidelines.”) A priest tells the Washington Post the cash is an “undue inducement”; a supporter compares the procedure to plastic surgery. The payments “will be carefully evaluated by an institutional review board,” says the Times, but then, any $10,000 purchase should be carefully considered.
The outrage is as you would expect. “So we’re going to create an entire new little creepy industry here?” says Mad Minerva 2.0. “A creepy little business?” (Actually, it’s not so little: the Cell Board has a $600 million budget.) Theologian Justin D. Barnard calls this “Cain’s Medical Research Program” “One wonders,” he says, “whether God will curse the fruit of such destructive research in the same way he cursed the ground soaked with Abel’s blood. Perhaps Christians should pray to that end.” And this is a guy who went to college. Image (cc) Rob Gale.