In Vitro Fertilization Mandate Raises Pro-Life Concerns

While the 2019-2020 New York State budget largely steered clear of damaging social-issue legislation, one anti-life measure found its way into the final budget. Under recently-approved budget legislation, the State of New York will now require large group insurance plans provide coverage for in vitro fertilization (IVF). The IVF mandate contains no age restrictions and covers single women and women who identify as lesbians. The legislation also requires private insurers to cover the freezing of human eggs in the event that it is “medically necessary” to do so; one situation in which egg freezing is deemed “medically necessary” is when a person intends to undergo so-called “sex reassignment surgery.”

Both the IVF mandate and the egg freezing mandate can be detrimental to women’s health. In many instances, egg harvesting involves giving women high doses of hormones to stimulate egg production and using a painful and potentially dangerous procedure to extract their eggs. Also, the IVF mandate is detrimental to children because it promotes the decision to bear and raise a child outside of an intact family. Worst of all, the IVF mandate is disrespectful of human life. In vitro fertilization often involves the production of multiple human embryos. In many instances, “extra” embryos are frozen in case their parents wish to use them at a later time. Tragically, many frozen embryos are eventually discarded.

Couples struggling with infertility sometimes turn to in vitro fertilization. While the emotional and even spiritual issues surrounding infertility are real and often deeply painful, couples should take into account the very real pro-life concerns that arise with in vitro fertilization.