ASRM Task Force on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Issues Statement, Recommendations

To read a summary of Task Force recommendations, click here.

For just over 75 years, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has been the global leader in multidisciplinary reproductive medicine research, ethical practice, and education. ASRM’s approximately 8,000 distinguished members, which include obstetricians and gynecologists, urologists, embryologists, nurses, mental health professionals and others, represent more than 100 countries and impact and inform all aspects of reproductive care and science worldwide. In this role, our focus is on serving our members in optimization of their patients’ reproductive health.

ASRM is passionately committed to promoting diversity within both our membership and leadership, as well as to promoting access to quality reproductive care for all patients without regard to marital status, gender identification, religious beliefs, or race/ethnicity. We are committed to addressing the factors that impact health disparities in our subspecialty and to addressing the ability of individuals to access proper and equal medical care, which is a pervasive barrier to educational, economic, and social success.

ASRM recognizes that there are economic and non-economic barriers, including cultural and societal factors that act as impediments to accessing infertility and reproductive care. To begin to address these impediments, ASRM established and charged a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force, consisting of experts trained in diversity, reproductive endocrinology, nursing, mental health, and ART laboratory (see Appendix B), to evaluate and make recommendations on the following two key charges:

Charge I: Enhancing opportunities to increase and support diversity and equity, and the inclusion of underrepresented minority populations, in the profession and leadership of reproductive medicine

Charge II: Reducing and eventually eliminating health disparities in access and outcomes to reproductive care

The Task Force, under the leadership of ASRM Vice President, Michael Thomas, MD, concluded that the lack of people of color in key positions in our profession, high price of treatment, inaccessibility of medical care, differences in success rates, lack of accessible patient education, and implicit biases and discrimination by some offices pose immense burdens to infertile individuals of diverse backgrounds, in same-sex relationships or who are without a partner. The Task Force encourages all reproductive medicine stakeholders to establish a pipeline for people of color to consider reproductive health as a career option and to put into place opportunities to establish affordable, safe, effective infertility services and treatments for underserved populations, those in the United States who lack insurance coverage for needed treatment, and refine the definition of infertility for same sex couples and single women.

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