It’s been 4 years since our country elected a new president. Regardless of your political platform, or if you agree with all of the decisions that have been made during this term, one thing is for sure - reproductive rights have remained intact. In spite of all of the controversy, media fodder, and downright false information, women still have the right to choose. Couples still have the right to decide what to do with their embryos. People still have the ability to create embryos to build their families.
All of that could change depending on the outcome of today’s election. Just as ConceiveAbilities Director, Nazca Fontes, wrote in the Huffington Post prior to the 2008 election, the results could affect assisted reproductive technology (ART) and the means to family building.
An article from The AFA outlines this in much greater detail, and it reminds us that fifteen states have presented initiatives and/or legislation for Personhood. These laws that define a fertilized egg as a person would have a dire impact not only on ART, but also research and other means of treatment for genuine medical issues. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Personhood legislation “would possibly prevent doctors from providing necessary and often life-saving medical procedures to women experiencing miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. Personhood measures are a dangerous intrusion of criminal law into the provision of medical care.”
A law that prevents care to the mother seems like the real criminal act. And while it’s difficult to comprehend, it is a right that currently needs protection.
It opens doors to an even greater myriad of discussion related to IVF treatment. As the AFA piece points out, would frozen embryos be considered a person by law? Should embryos be part of the US census? Are people entitled to claim embryos as dependents on their taxes? If frozen embryos do not survive the thawing process, is the lab technician now considered a criminal?
These questions are not unrealistic under Personhood legislation. While it has failed to become law - so far - the results of today’s election could pave the way to reality. We encourage you to vote today. Vote with the knowledge of where your chosen candidate stands, and vote to protect your reproductive choices.
All Things Conceivable is a blog dedicated to sharing the knowledge and expert opinions of the dedicated team at ConceiveAbilities, a Chicago-based egg donation and surrogacy agency.