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Black and white photo of a pregnant abdomen

This Mother’s Day, many women (and men) around the globe are struggling to have children, turning to a variety of approaches to overcome infertility. Meanwhile, lawmakers, medical professionals and activists have been in a heated public debate about the complex morals and politics of abortion and assisted reproductive technologies, also called ART.

Here are five things to know about the politics of such technologies, including how they are viewed and regulated.

1. Use of ART, and IVF in particular, is booming in the U.S. and abroad.
Since the 1978 birth of Louise Brown, the first “test tube baby,” nearly 7 million babies have been born using ART, defined as fertility treatments in which eggs or embryos are handled outside the body. The most commonly used technology is in vitro fertilization (IVF), where a woman’s eggs are removed, fertilized in a laboratory and then reimplanted into her body. IVF can also involve a constellation of other technologies, including the use of donor eggs and/or sperm. In recent years, U.S. use of these technologies has skyrocketed. In 2015, 464 fertility clinics reported...