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‘I don’t feel safe.’ Abortion bans add new uncertainty to fertility treatment

Published by Healthcare Dive. Read the full article.

State laws banning abortion could also impact people trying to conceive via in vitro fertilization and bring new legal risks for providers.

Andi St. Pierre sobbed when she received a text from her husband on June 24. The U.S. Supreme Court had overturned Roe v. Wade, and St. Pierre’s years of fertility treatment, involving frequent out-of-state travel, seemed at risk.

St. Pierre, who is currently undergoing in vitro fertilization, or IVF, treatment, is one of thousands of people receiving fertility treatment across the country who could be indirectly affected by the fall of Roe, which for decades protected a constitutional right to abortion.

Infertility patients and advocates worry the wording of state abortion bans enacted since the Supreme Court’s decision will make IVF less accessible, while threatening doctors with fines or imprisonment.

Of particular concern are laws that could be interpreted as giving frozen embryos — commonly part of the IVF process — status as human beings, as well as conflicting legal definitions of what constitutes conception.

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