SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — This potential ruling puts the microscope on many aspects of reproductive health, including infertility treatments.
Several embryos are created for couples seeking assistance to get pregnant, and a fertility doctor weighs in on whether placing a ban on an abortion would stretch to an embryo and how that could affect infertility care.
“So, the theoretical risk here is a state could say, you can’t discard those embryos,” said Dr. Heather Huddleston.
Huddleston is with UCSF’s Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health — examining the potential Supreme Court decision to ban legal abortions in the country and how that could possibly stretch over into infertility treatments.
“I think it would be pretty unlikely to limit fertility treatment access in other states, but as you know, this ruling leaves it up to states to make rules that they want to make,” Huddleston said.
That’s where it could get complicated and concerning for those needing assistance. The doctor explains that typically five embryos are created for those undergoing care.
However, if states pass laws stating life begins at creation, then only one embryo could be produced and transferred at a time, and that could cause problems.
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Some of those problems could drive up costs exponentially to get pregnant, especially since few insurance companies pay for infertility treatments. The doctor believes fundamentally treatments may not face a ban or limit.
The doctor says the bottom line so much is unknown right now about how all of this will fall out — leaving more questions than answers for the medical community.