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Free(ze) yourself! Legal and commercial imaginaries on egg freezing v. Charlotte Kroløkke, Professor mso Institut for Kulturvidenskaber, Syddansk Universitet, og Janne Rothmar Herrmann, Lektor, Juridisk Fakultet, Københavns Universitet

Denmark is known as home to the world’s largest sperm bank. But whereas the legal framework accommodates the sale and storage of sperm, women’s eggs are subject to fundamentally different regulation. Consequently, as Swedish fertility travelers come to Denmark to buy anonymous donor sperm, Swedish clinics target Danish women in advertisements encouraging them to travel to Sweden in order to freeze their eggs. In 2012 The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) declared that egg freezing was no longer experimental, initiating global commercialization and investment in the freezing of women’s own eggs while the eggs are ‘young’ and ‘fresh’. Today, it is possible to freeze (and thaw) eggs as well as embryos – probably indefinitely. But which values, interests, and imaginaries are behind the Danish and Swedish regulation? Which perceptions or imaginations underlie the increased commercialization in Sweden, where egg freezing is increasingly seen as an employment perk. In this paper we undertake a cross-disciplinary analysis of Danish and Swedish regulation and two different market perceptions; while Danish law limits cryopreservation to 5 years and cuts off women above the age of 46 to use them in treatment, frozen eggs in Sweden are increasingly staged as part of a woman’s autonomy.