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Do you feel Policitcal Correctness has gone too far?
Current Debate Topic
As of January 2015, both Apple and Facebook will pay up to $20,000 to cover the cost of egg freezing for employees, setting off a debate about women and work with a new benefit — paying for female employees to freeze their eggs.
Some doctors say egg freezing could be as influential as the birth control pill in freeing women from the confines of biology. Childbirth coincides with prime career-building years, and balancing both is a perpetual challenge. The question has to be asked: By paying for women to delay pregnancy, are employers helping them achieve that balance or avoiding policies that experts agree would greatly decrease the cost of paid family leave, childcare and flexible work arrangements? The plans for Facebook’s $120 million campus designed by Frank Gehry, include a doggy daycare, but nothing of the sort for children.
For women whose circumstances have made it unrealistic to have a baby and who are considering egg freezing, the new benefit is likely to be a highly welcome surprise. Yet workplaces could be seen as paying women to put off childbearing. Women who choose to have babies earlier could be stigmatized as uncommitted to their careers. Just as tech company benefits like free food and dry cleaning serve to keep employees at the office longer, so could egg freezing, by delaying maternity leave and child-care responsibilities.
Egg freezing has been available for more than a decade, but it had been used mostly for preserving eggs for young cancer patients whose chemotherapy would make them infertile. That changed in late 2012, when the American Society of Reproductive Medicine lifted the “experimental” label from the procedure. Doctors estimate there have been about 2,000 births from frozen eggs, though there is no official data. Women who freeze their eggs when they are younger than 35 have a 10 percent to 12 percent change of giving birth per egg, and women who do it when they are older than 35 have a 6 percent to 8 percent chance or lower.
With this latest “perk,” are these employers showing themselves to be early adopters of 21st century family planning? Or are they simply telling female employees in prime childbearing years: Don’t do this now.
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