Salt Lake City resident Anna Nibley Baker, who is a mother to four children, is quite satisfied that she and her husband have completed the process of growing their family. However, she has had fond thoughts of the couple’s three leftover embryos, which are now frozen and housed at a university clinic, ever after the birth of her final kid, who was created via in vitro fertilisation. This occurred eight years after the birth of her last child.
Now, after the Supreme Court’s abortion ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade, Ms. Baker, 47, along with countless infertility patients and their doctors across the country, has become alarmed that the fate of those embryos may no longer be hers to decide. This is the same sentiment shared by countless infertility patients and their doctors across the country. The ramifications for common treatments used in the treatment of infertility may be exceptional if governments were to outlaw abortions beginning at the moment of conception and make no distinction as to whether or not fertilisation takes place in the womb or in a laboratory.
IVF is a field of medicine that has been around for more than 40 years and is used by hundreds of thousands of heterosexual and same-sex couples, single people, and surrogate carriers in the United States. The goal of an IVF cycle is to create as many healthy embryos as possible for each individual patient. Surrogate mothers are also able to benefit from IVF. In most cases, the doctor will only implant one or two of those embryos in the uterus and will freeze the others for the patient’s potential usage in the future.
The efforts that states are making to outlaw abortion are bringing up a wide variety of legal concerns with these embryos: When deciding which embryos to implant, would medical professionals still be able to do genetic testing on embryos to check for chromosomal abnormalities or disorders such as Tay-Sachs, Huntington’s disease, and sickle cell anaemia?
Since the verdict, fertility clinics have been inundated with anxious phone calls from patients wondering whether they should, or even legally could, transfer their frozen embryos to states that guarantee the right to undergo an abortion. Cryobanks and physicians have also been going through several precautionary situations, including the following: A Texas fertility specialist wanted to know whether it was a good idea for him to hire a criminal defence attorney. The language of the legislation that have already taken effect do not specifically target embryos that were generated in a lab as of yet. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine, which represents a wide range of fertility treatment providers, has published a new policy paper in which it analyses 13 laws that are referred to as “trigger laws,” and it comes to the conclusion that these laws do not present an immediate threat to infertility patients and the health care providers who treat them. Moreover, top anti-abortion organisations have said, in interviews, that the embryos developed by assisted reproductive technology are not now a priority for their organisation.
However, legal experts warn that as some governments develop laws, the status of these embryos, as well as patients and providers, might become susceptible. This is particularly true in the event that an ardent prosecutor chooses to test the waters of the new territory. She continued by saying, “So we believe that Dobbs is something of a green light for those legislative extremists who want to take this a step further.” She was referring to the case that was the basis for the verdict that overruled Roe.
Some professionals in the fields of medicine and law have offered an additional method for getting around the ban, which entails the production of a single embryo at a time by freezing sperm and eggs separately and only thawing them when it is time to make individual embryos. Strictly speaking, this strategy would avoid some of the possible legal challenges provided by kept embryos and would skirt legislative wording that forbids abortion after fertilisation. Additionally, it would sidestep some of the potential ethical concerns posed by the storage of embryos.
Ms. Baker, who became a mother via both adoption and in vitro fertilisation, has a strong emotional connection to all three of her frozen embryos. She is having a hard time finding a path ahead, which is especially important right now since the recent Supreme Court verdict on abortion puts a cloud over their future.
She is unable to fathom giving them away to another spouse, which would amount to letting complete strangers carry and raise her children. This is a practise that many people involved in the struggle against abortion refer to as “snowflake adoption.”
Ms. Baker, who works as a nurse in intensive care, places a great value on the freedom to make decisions that she considers to be personal and extremely distinctive. She doesn’t feel she could ever have an abortion unless it was really necessary to save her life, but she thinks she should be able to make that choice for herself.