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SB 169 Would Impact Those Fighting the Disease of Infertility
(McLean, VA, March 7, 2009) — As the leading voice for women and men facing infertility, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association (RESOLVE) urges the Georgia legislature to dismiss SB 169, a bill to limit the number of embryos transferred during an IVF treatment. SB 169 could very well end the practice of IVF in the state of Georgia.
“I urge the Georgia legislature to not act in a reactionary manner do not pass this legislation” said Barbara Collura, RESOLVE’s Executive Director. “Instead of regulating IVF, the Georgia legislature and legislatures across the country should focus on insurance coverage for infertility treatments.”
On Thursday, March 5, the Georgia Senate Health & Human Services Committee held a hearing on SB 169. The committee voted to send the bill to a special subcommittee to review the complex issues covered in SB 169. RESOLVE testified on behalf of the 7.3 million Americans diagnosed with infertility to oppose this legislation. RESOLVE was joined a number of physicians in Georgia as well as a number of other organizations opposed to this legislation.
“RESOLVE believes that the focus should shift from pubic outcry over the octupulets to developing and passing legislation to provide insurance coverage to those faced with the disease of infertility,” said Barbara Collura, RESOLVE’s Executive Director. “Restricting embryo transfers for families who have one chance at having a baby because of the high cost of the treatments is unspeakable.”
Through RESOLVE’s Take Action websection, nearly 20,000 faxes and emails were sent to the Committee members in less than 2 days. Many infertility patients attended the hearing, some carrying photos of their children born via IVF. All said their children would not exist if SB 169 was the law in Georgia.
According to SB 169, the legislation would limit the number of embryos transferred during an IVF cycle, and ban the fertilization of any eggs in excess of the number allowed to be transferred. Even if more eggs are produced, they could not be fertilized and cryopreserved for future attempts at pregnancy. In patients under 40, physicians would be allowed to fertilize and transfer only two embryos, and in women over age 40, no more than three embryos. These limits do not even meet American Society of Reproductive Medicine’s (ASRM) guidelines on the number of embryos to transfer, and would affect patients access to care in Georgia. SB 169 would also eliminate any compensation for donor gametes, such as donor egg and donor sperm, severely limiting the number of available donors.
About RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association
Founded in 1974, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, headquartered in McLean, VA, is the oldest and largest consumer-based, nonprofit group that provides education, advocacy and compassionate support for those struggling with infertility in the United States. Each year, RESOLVE and its nationwide network of affiliates handle more than 1.5 million contacts from people seeking information and help. For more information, visit the RESOLVE website at www.resolve.org.
Shawn Taylor Zelman