In 2012, two major professional societies representing Europe and the United States released influential statements that would propel a commercial market for social egg freezing, in which women bank their oocytes for later use in order to avoid compromised fertility that comes with age. While the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology condoned SEF based on reproductive autonomy and justice, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine discouraged SEF based on insufficient data and concerns about false hope. In this article, we map the contexts and discursive moves by which the biomedicalization of SEF proceeded since 2012. We compare professional bioethical arguments that made the case to approve SEF in Europe with news and popular media discourse that formed and shaped the commercial marketization of SEF in the United States despite the recommendation of the ASRM. While a statist pronatalist perspective informed the former, a distinctly private labor market recruitment strategy utilizing a Lean In efficiency model of feminism buttressed the latter.
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DOI 10.1177/0162243918754322
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