As women continue to try to gain a stronger foothold in leadership roles of major companies, two Silicon Valley giants have a new benefit for their female employees: They are going to start paying for egg-freezing treatments.
According to NBC, Apple and Facebook will both pay for women working for them to freeze their eggs if they wish to put off motherhood now but want to get pregnant later at an age when they could have more issues.
“Having a high-powered career and children is still a very hard thing to do,” Brigitte Adams with the forum Eggsurance.com told NBC.
Adams said that these tech companies aren't the only ones looking into non-medical egg freezing for their employees, but she said that companies are not necessarily coming forward to share that they're also on board with this "very forward-looking" trend.
NBC reported that representatives with Apple and Facebook confirmed they are either going to cover or have already started covering egg freezing. Facebook, for example, provides employees with $20,000 for the procedure, which can cost $10,000 per round, not including storage.
John Robertson with the University of Texas School of Law published a journal article this year in which he addressed the issues associated with freezing eggs for "social rather than medical reasons" and the regulatory issues that arise with women banking their eggs in this manner.
"Egg freezing is generally empowering for women, but the donation or sale of unused eggs to infertile women, egg bankers, and researchers also raises issues of alienation," Robertson wrote.
While many women might see this as an attractive offer from employers, NBC wrote that others could see it as "sacrificing childbearing years for the promise of promotion."
Christy Jones, founder of Extend Fertility, told NBC she doesn't think that's how most view the option.
“The attitude toward egg freezing is very different,” she said, noting that women increasingly see egg freezing as a decision of "empowerment [rather] than 'this is my last chance.'"
Jones told NBC that even if women don't end up using the eggs they've chosen to store, employers making the procedure available financially could "help women be more productive human beings.”
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