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After Roe: The uncertain future of fertility treatment

Embryologist Ric Ross holds a dish with human embryos at the La Jolla IVF Clinic in La Jolla, California.
Embryologist Ric Ross holds a dish with human embryos at the La Jolla IVF Clinic in La Jolla, California.

Roughly 2 percent of children born in the U.S. are conceived by in vitro fertilization,according to the CDC

The process involves combining sperm and eggs to create embryos in a lab, then placing them in a person’s uterus. And it’s usually used by same-sex couples, single people, and surrogate carriers in the U.S.

But now experts across the country are concerned that abortion bans could impact access to fertility treatment like IVF. Especially in Louisiana, where lawmakers introduced a bill earlier this yearthat would give full legal rights to embryos.It failed aftera floor debate. 

This leaves many fertility providers, patients, and lawyers with questions. 

Could an embryo be considered a person? Could clinics face criminal penalties for embryo destruction if they don’t implant correctly, or have unused embryos that need to be discarded?

Copyright 2022 WAMU 88.5

Kathryn Fink, Mia Estrada