CORE European seminar: Human egg trading and the exploitation of women

CORE would like to thank all those who attended our recent Seminar on Human Egg Trading in the European Parliament. It was a dynamic and informative meeting.

In particular we are grateful to the leadership of the MEPs, Hiltrud Breyer (Germany), Adamos Adamou (Cyprus), Johannes Blokland (Netherlands), Maria Martins (Belgium), Kathy Synnott (Ireland) Eva-Britt Svensson (Sweden), Patrizia Toia (Italy), and Anna Zaborska (Slovakia), all of whom gave their support to the seminar, providing a considerable cross-party representation.

The tragic story of the death of Jacqui Rushton from ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome was recounted by her courageous mother, Angela Hickey. This story can be found on the BBC website

Dr George Magureanu from Bucharest gave a detailed account of the exploitation of young Romanian women in his country, and his ongoing efforts to obtain full investigation of the situation as well as individual justice for two girls who have been victims of egg-trading.

Presentation of Prof Hilary Rose

Professor Hilary Rose’s secular feminist perspective on the risks of IVF and human cloning was warmly applauded, as were the frank and comprehensive contributions from the medical experts. The serious physical consequences of fertility drugs and treatments were highlighted, and ethical alternatives were offered. More

Mrs Hiltrud Breyer MEP Germany (Greens/European Free Alliance) Conference Host

The participants came from many spheres of European Government and national politics, and included many representatives from leading women’s groups across Europe. Various secular and faith backgrounds were represented, from a great variety of philosophical and bioethical perspectives.

All speeches will be available on this web site later this week, as well as a copy of the declaration which was produced at the conclusion of the afternoon’s events.

A series of 8 points have been identified for further discussion with a view to promoting constructive political action in this field. These include a proper investigation of the current status regarding egg trading throughout Europe, recommendations regarding issues of informed consent, and the implementation of protective legislation where necessary. Cost-effective policies focusing on alternative treatments for infertility will be developed and recommended to national Health Authorities.

A key focus for discussion will be the endorsement of the subsidiarity principle throughout Member States, with reiteration that no EU funding be directed to embryo research, embryonic stem cell research or human cloning.

A council of representatives from interested groups will meet later this month in Brussels to engage in discussion of these recommendations and to formulate further action.

A preliminary suggestion is to call this body The Alina Group (TAG), named after the 19-year-old Romanian girl who suffered such devastating effects from egg harvesting in Bucharest

Speeches from the seminar are available below and powerpoint presentations can be sent on request.

The declaration from the seminar will be available shortly.


1. Dr Anna Zaborska, MEP Slovakia, Chair of the EP Committee on Women’s Rights & Gender Equality (European People’s Party & European Democrats) Opening speech
2. Mrs Angela Hickey, Dublin, speaking about the death of her daughter from ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome
3. Dr George Magureanu, Romanian lawyer, revealing background to egg trading in Bucharest

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