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The North Dakota Coalition for Privacy in Health Care

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The parents of Zoey & Khloe from West Fargo are among the 1,000+ families across North Dakota who have had their dreams come true thanks to IVF.  


What is In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)?


In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a procedure that has been used in medical practice for nearly 35 years. Millions of babies have been born worldwide due to this medical technology - where a woman's egg is fertilized by sperm outside of her body.


For many couples, IVF is the only option to build their family, especially couples faced with male factor infertility. 


IVF may be the only treatment option that’s successful for women with tubal damage, endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, pelvic adhesions, ovulatory dysfunction, uterine abnormalities, recurrent miscarriage and unexplained infertility. It is also used by cancer patients as part of their fertilization preservation efforts prior to cancer treatment.


In vitro fertilization is a highly regulated field of medicine by multiple agencies including The Food and Drug Administration, the Center for Disease Control, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) (which operates the CLIA program), The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, the Joint Commission Accreditation for Hospital Organizations, and the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.



What Impact Will Personhood Have on IVF?


If approved by voters in November 2014, the personhood constitutional amendment could ban in vitro fertilization (IVF) - which would devastate couples who wish to build a family but are unable to conceive a child through any other means.


The three reproductive endocrinologists who operate North Dakota's only IVF clinic have stated that they would stop offering IVF services in our state if this law passed. Families who pursue IVF in another state may have to travel long distances frequently during a cycle, incurring added stress and cost.


Besides banning the practice of IVF, personhood could also impact the existing practice of freezing embryos.


As a result, female patients with cancer may have to travel out of state to preserve their fertility before chemotherapy.


Also, couples who are currently storing embryos could be prohibited from discarding them once they are done building a family. They may need to pay for storage infinitely or donate their embryos to another family.



Our Position


The Coalition opposes any legislation that could ban IVF, restrict a couple's ability to use donor egg and donor sperm, regulate the number eggs that are fertilized or the number of embryos transferred into the uterus, or affect the ability to freeze embryos.


Such restrictions may place an even greater burden on couples financially, physically and emotionally. 


The Coalition believes these private health care decisions should be made by the couple utilizing IVF in conjunction with the couple's physician.