Understanding IVF Access in a Post Roe v Wade World
RESOLVE has collected information, news articles, and trusted resources to understand what’s at stake for those that need IVF to build their family post Roe v Wade world. This page will be updated regularly.
Keeping IVF legal is very important to RESOLVE because it helps so many people resolve their infertility. For almost a decade states around the country (as well as the federal government) have attempted to pass laws declaring that human life, or “personhood,” begins as soon as sperm fertilizes an egg. These so-called personhood bills could make common fertility treatments like IVF illegal.
With the recent decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade, RESOLVE fears this is an open door for state lawmakers to overreach and introduce legislation that will make IVF impossible to access in some states. Read more about our history with Personhood Legislation.
As of today, IVF is open and accessible in all 50 states and Washington, DC. With Roe v Wade no longer law and now in the hands of state lawmakers, in the future, some new legislation intended to restrict or ban abortion may include language that is unclear or specifically targets in vitro embryos, including:
- The ability to do testing on embryos, such as genetic testing
- The ability to freeze embryos
- The ability to move frozen embryos across state lines
- Embryo disposition
- Unintended consequences of harm coming to an embryo
- Miscarriages, and care rendered to the patient
- Ectopic pregnancies, and care rendered to the patient
- Conferring Personhood rights on an in vitro embryo
If these types of bills are introduced, RESOLVE will fight them.
How Abortion Bans Could Make IVF Even More Expensive, Newsweek, August 15, 2022
Local Couples Worry About Future of IVF After Fall of Roe v. Wade, NBC 4 Washington, August 9, 2022
How Abortion Bans Are Restricting Miscarriage Care, The Daily Podcast, July 20, 2022
Groups launched to help Jewish couples with IVF face uncertain landscape after Roe reversal, Jerusalem Post, July 13, 2022
Fertility Doctors, IVF Families, Post-Roe: 'We're Anxious'. WebMD, July 14, 2022
How abortion bans could restrict infertility treatments like IVF, The Hill, July 7, 2022
Abortion bans could impact access to IVF after Roe v. Wade overturned, experts say, Yahoo News, July 7, 2022
Infertility Patients and Doctors Fear Abortion Bans Could Restrict I.V.F., The New York Times, July 5, 2022
‘I’m afraid for my IVF patients’ after Roe v. Wade dismantling, fertility doctor says, Northwestern Now, June 30, 2022
How does overturning of Roe v. Wade affect IVF treatment?, USA Today, June 30, 2022
Abortion Ruling Clouds Future for In Vitro Fertility Patients, Bloomberg, June 29, 2022
All the Ways Dobbs Will Harm Pregnant Women, Whether or Not They Want an Abortion, Slate, June 29, 2022
The Supreme Court's Dobbs Decision Threatens Assisted Reproduction, Reason, June 27, 2022
Roe is gone. How will state abortion restrictions affect IVF and more?, Washington Post, June 25, 2022
Fertility Doctors Move Embryos, Expecting Abortion Law Changes, Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2022
FAQs from Our Community
These questions were created from individual questions submitted through an Instagram Q&A post.
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) did a legal review of the trigger laws and none of them impact frozen embryos or the care someone will receive from a fertility clinic. If legislation is introduced (this is called a “Bill”) that impacts fertility care, RESOLVE will activate people in that state and advise them on how to take action and get involved. But today, you have rights over your embryos and what happens to them.
Not at this time. RESOLVE is not advising people to move their embryos. If state legislation is introduced that impacts fertility care, RESOLVE will activate people in that state and advise them on how to take action and get involved. Remember, every action will be specific to each state, so it’s important to keep apprised of specific legislation that is introduced in your state.
It is a great idea for everyone to get to know their state lawmakers (state Senator and state Representative, sometimes called an Assemblyperson). Anyone can schedule a call or meeting with their state legislators and share issues that are important to you, their constituent. RESOLVE recommends you share that you care about people with infertility, share your personal story, and share that you want people to have access to the care they need to build their families, and that includes IVF.
By having these conversations now, you are creating a relationship and letting your state lawmakers know what you care about and that you are an “expert” on this issue. If a bill is introduced, it is much easier for you to reach out to your state lawmaker, remind them about your previous meeting, and state your position on the pending legislation. Download RESOLVE’s state advocacy toolkit for everything you need to know about state advocacy.
Not at this time; genetic testing is not impacted by any of the current laws. Remember, this is now up to state legislators to decide if new laws need to be passed so it’s important to keep apprised of specific legislation that is introduced in your state. RESOLVE will activate people in that state and advise them on how to take action and get involved. But today, anyone can do genetic testing on embryos.
Without the protection of Roe v Wade, states have the legal authority to pass laws restricting access to an abortion. There is the possibility that bills would be written to restrict access to abortion that would also -- intentionally or unintentionally -- impact the creation of embryos during an IVF cycle. If the bill gives rights to embryos that are outside of a woman’s body (embryo Personhood), then RESOLVE would oppose the legislation and mobilize our community against it.
Right now, July 2022, IVF is legal and available in all 50 states. But we hear you, the unknown threats can create a lot of angst, especially if you live in a state where this issue is most surely to come up. If you’re feeling more stress because of this uncertainty, we encourage you to seek the care of a mental health professional and/or a RESOLVE support group. Also read up on RESOLVE’s resources and keep yourself informed from trusted news sources.
Elections have consequences, that’s very true. Download our state advocacy toolkit for ways you can engage with and educate your elected officials about infertility and keeping all family building options safe and accessible. (You can also have that conversation with anyone running for an elected position!)
State legislation that RESOLVE believes threatens access to IVF may focus on the embryos created during that IVF cycle, regardless of how those embryos were created (i.e. donor sperm, egg, or donated embryos) and who is carrying the pregnancy. Using a gestational carrier surrogate to build your family requires doing IVF, but we haven’t seen abortion ban bills specifically target gestational carriers, so this is not a problem. The issue is the creation of embryos as part of an IVF cycle. If a bill gives rights to embryos that are outside of a woman’s body (embryo Personhood), then RESOLVE would oppose the legislation.
This depends on how state legislation is drafted in your state and if the focus of the bill is on a viable pregnancy. RESOLVE will review bills introduced and activate people in that state if we believe the legislation will impact care for a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. If you have experienced either of these and needed medical intervention, your story is important! We encourage you to meet with your state legislators to share your story, even if legislation has not been introduced.
At this time IVF access is not limited in any state; there should be no reason for people to leave their home clinic and go to a different state.
Right now, July 2022, IVF is legal and available in all 50 states. Pursuing IVF regardless of political climate is a process full of emotions. It’s important that you talk with someone who can help guide you through the emotional process. Check with your clinic for mental health support or visit our directory to find a professional.
At this time IVF is practiced as it was before the Supreme Court ruling, so we don’t see a reason why the costs would change. If you believe there is a change in the cost from your clinic, ask for an explanation of the fee change.
Stay in touch with RESOLVE and become a member of our RESOLVE Advocacy Network (RAN). You get instant access to information when your state becomes a “state to watch.” We’ll break down the bill for you, how it impacts family building options like IVF, and how you can take action to get involved.