CLEVELAND (WJW) – The reversal of Roe v. Wade could have unintended consequences on a surprising group of people — those who want a child but need infertility treatments or reproductive technology to grow their family.
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine said the trend of anti-abortion legislation is concerning for both providers and patients in the reproductive care field.
“So, our concern is they’re going to overreach or sloppily define things and inadvertently create a problem for fertility patients,” said Sean Tipton, Chief Policy and Advocacy Officer at The American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
Anti-abortion legislation and how it impacts infertility treatments, including IVF, is under review at some of Cleveland’s largest hospitals.
A spokesperson for the Cleveland Clinic issued the following statement: “Cleveland Clinic supports the principle that the appropriateness of a medical or surgical procedure is best determined by a patient in consultation with a medical professional… the patient-clinician relationship is of utmost importance and should be preserved.”
At University Hospitals, officials said in a statement, “Like other healthcare systems, we are carefully reviewing the recent Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade and working to understand the full impact it will have on our patients and healthcare providers.”
“There are situations involving IVF, for example, where sometimes one embryo or fetus has to be removed for the other one to survive,” said Jessie Hill, Law Professor at Case Western Reserve University. “Those are situations where there certainly would be a problem under the new Ohio law.”
Medical providers who break the Ohio heartbeat law could face felony prosecution. Hill said the state heartbeat law does not apply to frozen embryos outside of a person’s body.
Monday, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley said he would decline to criminalize reproductive health decisions.
Tipton said the fear is interpretation or overreach in current and future anti-abortion legislation restricting people who need assisted reproductive technology to have a family and the medical staff who provides care.
“Infertility care seems to me the ultimate pro-life medical technology,” said Tipton. “So I would hope that those who call themselves pro-life would want to be very careful not to interfere with people’s ability to build their families.”