by: ASRM Office of Public Affairs
Published in ASRM Bulletin Volume 15, Number 7
While Congressional activity in the nation’s Capital is crippled over budget battles, legislative activity at the state level is in full swing. ASRM is actively monitoring and communicating with policymakers in a number of states on bills which would negatively impact the practice of reproductive medicine. Of particular concern, are bills which have advanced in Arizona and North Dakota.
SB 1376 would create an unnecessary and redundant regulatory burden on physicians practicing in Arizona and would infringe on private decisions infertile patients make as part of their treatment. The bill seeks to create a process for the collection of data on all ART cycles performed in the state. The bulk of the data that SB 1376 seeks to obtain however, is already publicly available via SART and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Importantly, this data is available for all states, not just Arizona. The sponsors of the bill though seek to track the number of all embryos created, the number transferred, the number preserved and the number destroyed which suggests a motivation to meddle in the private reproductive decisions of infertile patients. ASRM and SART have sent a letter of opposition to Arizona state Senators with a request that each vote NO on the bill.
Personhood legislation, that defining a human being to include a fertilized egg at any stage of development, remains a top priority of Personhood USA, a right to life advocacy group that has secured introduction of legislation and ballot measures in several states again this year.
In North Dakota, personhood legislation, SB 2303, passed the Senate last week 24-23. ASRM and SART strenuously opposed this bill along with a legislatively referred ballot initiative, SCR 4009, which would amend the state Constitution if voters approve the ballot during the 2014 election. SCR 4009 also passed the Senate. ASRM and SART opposed a separate bill, SB 2302, which would have limited the number of embryos that could be created to the same number that would be transferred and that would have prohibited donor compensation. SB 2302 failed during committee consideration. While SB 2303 and SCR 4009 have passed the Senate, ASRM credits Dr. Stephanie Dahl for successfully educating about the harms of the bill, and is pleased the vote was not a wider margin. The personhood measures move to the House where similar legislation passed last year. ASRM and SART will remain actively engaged in the fight.
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