Proposed legislation could protect access to IVF in wake of attacks on reproductive rights, Northeastern law expert says

Key Takeaways

  • The Right to IVF Act would ensure patients have access to the fertility treatment and ensure coverage, a move one Northeastern expert calls “an important step.”

By Erin Kayata

About 2% — tens of thousands — of babies born in the United States each year are conceived using in-vitro fertilization, a fertility treatment that’s been considered a “great triumph of modern medicine.”

But the legal viability of this procedure was called into question this year after the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos could be considered children. The ruling only applied to negligence cases concerning embryo destruction, and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey later signed a bill to protect providers and patients.

However, concerns remain about the protection of the treatment, especially with 13 states considering legislation defining personhood, measures that could affect the legality of IVF.

The Supreme Court also overruled Roe v. Wade two years ago this month in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, saying the Constitution does not confer the right to abortion. The overruling of Roe v. Wade emboldened some politicians to go after reproductive rights, said Katherine Kraschel, an assistant professor of law and health sciences at Northeastern University who is an expert on health policy and reproduction.

Continue reading at Northeastern Global News.