The House of Representatives has resolved to probe cases of “unethical practices and abuses” in fertility clinics across the country.
This resolution followed the adoption of a motion moved by Babajimi Benson (APC, Lagos) on Tuesday during plenary.
The Committee on Healthcare was mandated to conduct a thorough investigation into cases of unethical and exploitative practices in egg procurement and surrogacy by fertility hospitals and clinics.
Moving the motion, Mr Benson said the Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART) industry in Nigeria is worth over $1 billion because of the surge in the popularity of the procedure.
Mr Benson said some clinics pay a meagre N100,000 to harvest eggs from women, stating that many are forced to sell eggs due to economic hardship.
“Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) procedures entail the surgical extraction of eggs from a woman’s ovaries, their fusion with sperm in laboratory settings, and subsequent reintegration into the donor’s body or transfer to another woman or storage in an egg bank.
“These women undergo the surgical egg retrieval, relinquishing control over the eggs obtained. They are typically remunerated between N100,000 to N150,000 per retrieval, with as many as five to six eggs potentially extracted per month,” he said.
He stated that “fertility centres have capitalised on the absence of a suitable regulatory framework to exploit providers/donors and potentially engage in the trade of donated eggs.”
Mr Benson stated further that “if this trend is not checked immediately, there is possibility of a sharp rise in cases of infertility and cancer infections on the part of the young donors and surrogates as well as promoting the exploitative practices involved.”
The motion was adopted unanimously by the House after it was put to vote by Speaker Tajudeen Abbas.
The committee was mandated to submit its report within four weeks.
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