There's a story in David Brin's collection Otherness, "Piecework," in which the protagonist and her best friend undergo a permanent split when the protagonist works her way out of Britain's welfare class and her friend's career path spirals down. Both are employed as freelance pieceworkers -- manufacturing industrial commodities via biotech implanations in their uteri.
I thought of that story today when I read Wired News's "How Much for a Dozen Human Eggs?" -- not because I think of any egg donor as a piece worker, but because apparently, other people already do. The crux of the issue: the National Academies published a recommendation against women being paid to hand their eggs over to researchers. This presents a problem best summed up below:
"It's really a bind because if you're not paying women, then you're not paying them for something that's burdensome, invasive and time-consuming," said Marcy Darnovsky, associate director of the Center for Genetics and Society. "But if you pay them, you're giving them an inducement to put themselves at risk and to discount the risks that they might know about but feel they have no other option."
This really touches on a much larger question: should people have the right to sell their biological assets? Some would argue no:
"People could be paid reasonably for their time and effort," [Arthur Kaplan] said. "But I don’t think they should be turned into egg incubators as a career choice."
But I can't help but wonder -- why frame the issue to imply someone else is conscripting "egg incubators"? What's wrong with someone turning into an incubator by choice?