Georgia Pro-Life Group Bill Will Limit In Vitro Fertilization Use Amid Concerns
by Steven Ertelt
February 18, 2009
Atlanta, GA (LifeNews.com) — With concerns that the use of the medical technology is going overboard, a Georgia pro-life group is working with legislators for a bill that would limit the use of in vitro fertilization (IVF). The bill comes at a time when concerns are high regarding a mother who recently gave birth to eight IVF-produced children.
Georgia Right to Life tells LifeNews.com that it has a lawmaker who has filed the Ethical Treatment of Human Embryos Act in the Georgia Senate.
The group says it is apparent from the recent birth of octuplets to a southern California woman that the fertility industry needs governmental oversight, thus the need for SB 169.
This industry is one of the most lucrative medical fields and among the least regulated, the group says. In response to this need, Sen. Ralph Hudgens, along with other co-sponsors in the Senate leadership, have introduced legislation that will place limits on the creation and transfer of embryos produced by IVF.
"This bill is written to help reduce the attendant harm that could come to the mother and her children through the creation and implantation of more embryos than is medically recommended by industry watchdog groups like the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology," GRTL president Daniel Becker tells LifeNews.com.
"This bill would limit the number of embryos transferred in any given cycle to the same number that are fertilized, up to a maximum of three," he explains.
Becker says the legislation is nothing new as several European nations place limits on the use of IVF without outlawing it.
"This bill is similar to the same common-sense regulations passed in other countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy," Becker said.
By preventing the dangerous practice of implanting more embryos than is medically recommended, Becker says the bill will prevent the high risk of multiple gestations, premature births and babies with low birth weight for their gestational age.
Becker also says the current IVF system makes it so fertility clinics are encouraged to implant more embryos and cause more cases of multiple births.
Currently, the law requires that fertility clinics report their success rates to the Center for Disease Control. By focusing on "success," the clinics are pitted against one another when marketing their services.
"Due to a ‘for profit’ motive this can result in a serious compromise to the standard of care for the women and the children involved," says Becker.
"Now is the time to develop regulatory oversight that would protect our women and children and provide legal protection to embryos as living human beings and not as property," he adds.
The group says it believes Georgia is the first state in the nation to address the use of IVF technology with such limits.
Related web sites:
George Right to Life – https://www.grtl.org/default.asp
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