It’s no coincidence that the world’s first IVF baby was born just five years after the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. IVF, or in vitro fertilization, is often mistakenly thought to be irrelevant to abortion debates. After all, people spend tens of thousands of dollars on reproductive technologies like IVF to help them become pregnant, while the conversation surrounding abortion largely concerns unexpected and often unwanted pregnancies.
But, upon a closer look, Roe not only empowered millions of women with bodily autonomy by constitutionally protecting their right to terminate a pregnancy—the decision also enabled the rapid growth of new technologies beyond IVF to assist human reproduction.
With Roe reversed, several states are poised to ban abortions; trigger laws in at least 13 U.S. states will immediately prohibit abortion without exceptions. Under many of these state laws, ‘life’ will be defined as the moment an egg is fertilized. These laws threaten those undergoing (and those performing) procedures, such as IVF or third-party gamete donation, by limiting or prohibiting the freezing or discarding of embryos—a process fundamental to successful fertility treatments. Researchers... see more