Silicon Valley already leads in tech innovation—why shouldn't it lead in procreation, too? Facebook has expanded employee coverage to include egg freezing, and Apple will start providing similar coverage in January, company reps tell NBC News. Both companies—thought to be the "first major employers to offer this coverage for non-medical reasons"—will pay up to $20,000, which will mitigate the $10,000-per-round cost and $500-per-year storage fee such a process usually entails. The coverage joins what a benefits consultant tells Reuters is a "perks arms race," a constant one-upping by tech companies that has recently extended deeper into the health care realm.
NYC and San Francisco fertility doctors say egg-freezing cases have doubled in the past year, NBC notes. And it's become so trendy among female professionals that they're attending "egg-freezing parties" where they drink champagne and learn about the process, the New York Post reported in August. Advocates say the process may help ease pressure on women who feel they have to meticulously time having children (or even forgo them) with job demands. "Having a high-powered career and children is still a very hard thing to do,” an egg-freezing supporter tells NBC News. There are also skeptics: "Would [women] take this as a signal that [their company] thinks that working there ... and pregnancy are incompatible?" the co-director of Harvard Law's Petrie-Flom Center blogged last year. (At least one doctors' group isn't all for the egg-freezing process.)