Egg freezing is an individualized, questionably effective technical fix for a fundamentally social problem.
The latest cover of Bloomberg Businessweek features a well-dressed white woman standing with her hand on her hip, underneath the words
“FREEZE YOUR EGGS, FREE YOUR CAREER.” But it’s plain fallacy to believe that an individual woman can outsmart a racist, sexist job market by freezing her eggs.
It’s no wonder many women believe they’ll be able to bear children with frozen eggs whenever they want to—a $4 billion industry is driving the public discourse.
Should young women who aren’t ready to have children have their eggs extracted and frozen as an “insurance policy” for future motherhood? Several recent media features seem to be promoting egg freezing, with little or no mention of the risks involved for women who undergo egg retrieval procedures or for the children that might be born as a result.
The fertility industry’s professional organization – the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) – has said plainly that freezing women’s eggs remains an experimental procedure that should not be “marketed or offered as a means to defer reproductive aging.”
A woman in her twenties who doesn’t want to have a baby yet is fine with us, but a woman in her late thirties seems to be a different story.