New York women will soon be able to receive up to $10,000 for donating their eggs for stem cell research — paid for by taxpayers.

A board that oversees the state's stem cell research efforts recently voted to use state money for the payments. The decision makes New York the first state to do so. The program is expected to be in place by 2010.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Richard Daines says it's ethical to pay because of the discomfort of donating eggs.

Some critics say the policy could encourage cash-strapped women to take health risks. Others question the use of what they call "embryonic human life" for research.

Researchers believe stem cell research could lead to treatments and cures. The pay for donating eggs would be between $5,000 and $10,000.