State Restrictions On IVF

Some people complain about the fact that government just keeps getting bigger. In Georgia, government may be getting bigger to make sure that fewer numbers of embryos are transferred during in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures. The Republican candidates for Georgia's gubernatorial elections, Karen Handel and Rep. Nathan Deal, are of differing minds about whether they would support an initiative to restrict the number of embryos that can be transferred to the mother's womb during an IVF procedure. This is according to the AP/Macon Telegraph. Deal and Handel will have to handle the problem by making some kind of deal (with the public that is) during the runoff for the GOP nomination.

Unused Embryos

The largest pro-life group in the state of Georgia, Georgia Right to Life (GRTL) says that this kind of legislation is necessary to cap the number of embryos doctors can produce during the course of a single IVF cycle. They say that making too many embryos, or more than will be used during the cycle, leads to the elimination/death of the embryos that end up not being used in the procedure.

During 2009, legislators in Georgia discussed a bill (SB 169) that would have put in place just such a ceiling on the number of embryos that physicians are allowed to produce and then transfer into their patients. The bill was called "Ethical Treatment of Human Embryos Act" and was set in motion by a California birth in which octuplets were born. The GRTL backed this bill. Though the bill was amended to include restrictions on HESC (human embryonic stem cell) research in the state of Georgia and though it passed the Senate, the bill did not advance in the state House.

Infertility Heartache

During interviews with the Associated Press, Handel, who was once Georgia secretary of state, explained her position, as did Deal. Handel has herself experienced the heartache of infertility treatment and said she was going to fight efforts to place restrictions on doctors and patients in these matters.

Deal, who is backed by GRTL explained to the Associated Press that it was wrong to create life that is not going to be used for the IVF procedure and then just destroy that life. He believed that some type of limits could be thought up with the help and collaboration of physicians.

A co-chair of an infertility group known as Resolve, Renee Whitley, said that Deal has always supported the type of amendments that go according to the definition that life begins with fertilization of the egg.

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