Find out what the reversal of Roe v. Wade means for reproductive rights and fertility care
The United States Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade has left our patients with a lot of questions. One of the biggest ones is how this decision will affect fertility treatments like IVF and embryo freezing. Texas Fertility Center is a champion of reproductive rights and a destination for family building. As such, our Austin fertility center team wants to help patients understand the impact of this Supreme Court decision.
A brief look at the reversal of Roe v. Wade
As many people know, Roe v. Wade established a pregnant woman’s constitutional right to have an abortion. This struck down both federal and state laws that banned abortions at the time. In the recent case of Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe, returning this issue back to the states.
As a result of this decision, each state is now responsible for making laws about abortion within their state. This has left many wondering not only how states will handle abortion, but also how they will handle other reproductive rights, including IVF and other fertility treatments.
Examining the current status of reproductive rights in Texas
In 2021, Texas passed the Human Life Protection Act, making it one of 13 states with a so-called “trigger law.” As such, Texas will ban all abortions from the moment of fertilization starting 30 days after the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade.
There are exceptions “to preserve the life of a pregnant patient” and to “prevent substantial impairment of major bodily function.” This second exception will presumably allow physicians to remove an ectopic pregnancy. We also already have the “Heartbeat Law” that prohibits abortion following the detection of a fetal heartbeat.
At this point, there are currently no laws that would limit fertility treatments, including IVF and embryo freezing and storage. From our conversations with Texas lawmakers, it appears to us that there is no intent to impair IVF specifically or fertility treatment in general in Texas.
Additionally, the Texas trigger law only refers to abortion. In order to have an abortion, someone must be pregnant. As such, it’s likely that the Texas trigger law will not apply to embryos in the laboratory, regardless of their developmental stage.
We will continue to fight for your reproductive rights
Our Austin fertility center team is working closely with our colleagues at ASRM and RESOLVE as well as local and national experts in reproductive law to monitor this situation. We plan to continue to fight for your reproductive rights, as we have done since 1980, if and when we see any state activities or laws that would characterize embryos in a way that would limit IVF, freezing, storage and related fertility services.
In the meantime, we all realize that many of you are struggling with your feelings and emotions regarding this issue. We know that infertility patients already have a lot of reasons to be frustrated, sad and scared. The current news is only pushing those limits even further.
We encourage you to remain calm, obtain your information from credible sources like us. You can also take substantial comfort in the fact that it appears that nothing further will change regarding fertility treatment in Texas.
Please keep checking our website for the latest information, as this is where we will let you know about any changes and share updates as they become available. We thank you for trusting us with your family-building dreams.
Contact us if you’d like to learn more about fertility treatments like IVF and how our Austin fertility center can help you become a parent.