Although some are praising Silicon Valley technology companies Facebook and Apple for offering to pay for their female employees to undergo egg freezing procedures that would allow them to put off childbirth until after the prime of their careers, a Christian ethicist is arguing that companies paying for such fertility treatments send the message that “mothers are not welcomed in the workplace during the prime of their careers.”
In order to help attract the top female talents to come work for them, Facebook and Apple are offering a rare benefit that will finance up to $20,000 in annual coverage for women to freeze their eggs through the process of cryopreservation, a process that extracts the eggs from the mother and stores them in sub-zero temperature until the mother is ready to have kids.
Some feel the purpose of undergoing this fertility procedure is to allow women to focus on their careers when they are younger while putting off childbearing and motherhood until they have the flexibility for it later in life, perhaps after their career. The process typically costs about $10,000, while it costs about $500 per year to store the eggs. Facebook has already been offering this perk to their employees, while Apple will begin offering it to their employees in January of 2015.
Although proponents of egg freezing and other reproductive methods claim that it is a small victory for gender equality, Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, said that he doesn’t see it that way.
“I don’t see it as a victory for gender equality because it is an implicit statement that being a mother is a hindrance to being a valued employee at those companies, and I think we can do better than that,” Moore said in an interview with The Christian Post. “My larger concern in this context would be what this means for the expectations that these companies have for their women employees. This seems to me that this could be an implicit statement that mothers are not welcome in the workplace in the prime of their careers.”
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SOURCE: The Christian Post