Folks, it is go time in Colorado and North Dakota.
Personhood ballots in both states, with their vague, unscientific and definitions about when life begins, threaten the practice of IVF in both states. If Measure 1 passes in North Dakota, the state’s sole fertility clinic would be forced to close its doors. Patients would have to travel out of state to seek treatment – but not to Colorado, where Amendment 67 threatens fertility clinics in that state, too.
This week, I get into more complex detail about exactly how personhood threatens the practice of reproductive medicine in those states for RH Reality Check:
Personhood laws could also cause a number of other legal ambiguities for those involved in the IVF process. Barbara Collura, executive director for RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, pointed out to RH Reality Check that the vague language of the proposed amendments generates myriad potential gray areas that voters likely haven’t considered.
“What about the infertility patient scheduled for her IVF procedure on November 5?” she pointed out. For that patient, Collura noted, it would be unclear as to whether she had a right to refuse any of her embryos, or if she must cancel her treatment entirely—which would still leave any fertilized eggs retrieved and created before the ballot vote in legal limbo.
Collura also brought up the issue of unused embryos awaiting possible transfer. She raised the questions, “If Amendment 67 and Measure 1 pass on November 4, what will happen to embryos that are currently frozen and in storage in those states? Will infertility patients be able to cross state lines now with these so-called ‘pre-born people?’” After all, if embryos do not survive the trip, their transporters could be held responsible.
Here’s a link to the full piece: ‘Personhood’ Amendments Would Hurt Families Who Want Children. I’d love your comments, shares, and thoughts over at RH Reality Check!