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Dr. Scotchie Tells The Tennessean IVF Is Safe From Tennessee Abortion Law

Tennessee abortion law has no effect on IVF practices, but TRM providers remain vigilant

The Tennessean on Tennessee abortion law | TRM | Chattanooga, TN

Despite the new Tennessee abortion law having no immediate impact on in vitro fertilization (IVF), advocates and some fertility doctors remain wary in light of other states proposing “personhood” bills that define fertilized eggs as the earliest stage of life.

TRM’s Dr. Jessica Scotchie comments on where this movement could lead regarding reproductive medicine and the level of control patients have over their own health care.

“The immediate effect (of the law) is that there is no effect on IVF and the use or ability to make decisions on embryos that are created through IVF,” said Dr. Jessica Scotchie, director of Tennessee Reproductive Medicine in Chattanooga. “The real concern that our profession has is the continual erosion of people’s autonomy to make their own reproductive health decisions.”

With states proposing bills that declare fertilized eggs as “persons” and right-to-life groups growing more critical of IVF practices, Julia Tate-Keith, a lawyer specializing in fertility, believes this new ban could eventually be applied to IVF embryos. “It’s not a far stretch to see this being applied to (IVF) embryos,” she said. Tate-Keith added that if it is, that will preclude fertility doctors from discarding embryos with defects, which make them incompatible with life, or embryos that patients simply do not need in order to complete their families.

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