86% of Americans believe IVF should be legal - TAI News
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The vast majority of Americans believe that in vitro fertilization should be legal, a new CBS News/YouGov poll published on Sunday found.

According to the poll, 86% of Americans believe the procedure — in which mature eggs are harvested from the ovaries, fertilized with sperm to create embryos, and then introduced into a patient’s uterus in the hope one will implant — should be legal.

The pollsters asked about IVF in the wake of an Alabama Supreme Court ruling in February that embryos created outside of the uterus are people from a legal standpoint and that those who destroy them can be charged under the state’s Wrongful Death of a Minor Act. The ruling led fertility clinics in the state to pause IVF treatments, fearing they could face criminal penalties if they discarded embryos for any reason.

After the ruling, Republican lawmakers rushed to say they supported IVF. 

However, when Democrats in the U.S. Senate tried to pass a bill that would protect access to IVF through unanimous consent, Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith blocked it. 

What’s more, 125 Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are co-sponsors of personhood legislation that says that life begins at fertilization.

Pennsylvania Republican Reps. Guy Reschenthaler, Glenn Thompson, Scott Perry, Lloyd Smucker, and John Joyce are co-sponsoring the bill.

Personhood legislation imperils IVF because doctors create multiple embryos during the process to assure that it is successful. If IVF clinics become criminally liable for the destruction of unusable embryos, patients would be forced to face difficult decisions, assuming IVF remained available. 

Personhood laws could force a patient to undergo costly and invasive transfers of embryos into their uterus even when those embryos have been found to be genetically unviable and would likely lead to unsuccessful implantation or miscarriage. 

“Texas Right to Life says that they want every egg implanted, every fertilized egg implanted,” Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) said at a news conference on Feb. 27, in which she called for Republicans to pass her bill to create federal protections for IVF. “That’s not viable. Do you know what it costs each time, and you’re going to force a woman to go through a miscarriage by implanting nonviable embryos?”

Duckworth added: “You’re going to punish women further, women who are struggling to scrape together everything they’ve had in order to go through these procedures, and you say, Okay, we know that those three, in my case, we know that those three embryos are nonviable, but if you want IVF, you’re going to have to implant them and go through three miscarriages? Is that what we’re going to do to women? This is the logical end step of where we are when you declare a fertilized egg as having more rights than a living, breathing human being.”

Johns Hopkins University professor of health policy and management Joanne Rosen said in a podcast after the Alabama ruling that there are currently more than 1.5 million frozen embryos in storage in the United States. Rosen added that after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which had affirmed a constitutional right to abortion, experts worried that abortion bans would have unintended consequences for IVF.

“The Supreme Court in Dobbs actually said that states have a legitimate interest in the preservation and protection of prenatal life at all stages of development. So there was speculation about whether there would be litigation around IVF: Could there be attempts to ban IVF because of concerns for how you are treating embryos? Could there be more aggressive attempts to regulate IVF?” Rosen said.

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