Arizona Legistlature Pushing Through Damaging Bills and Laws Regarding Egg Donation
Posted Feb 14 2010 12:00am
RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association strongly opposes two bills coming up for a vote in a matter of days in the Arizona state legislature: SB 1306 / HB 2651 (both bills referred to hereinafter together as “SB 1306”).
These proposed laws would impose new and unprecedented restrictions on donor egg treatment for infertility. Donor egg IVF therapy is actually the most successful medical treatment for many couples who are trying to have a baby. It has been used successfully in this country for more than 20 years. Yet, SB 1306 / HB 2651 would pull the rug out from under this medical treatment and take away the last remaining hope for many couples in Arizona.
SB 1306 discourages egg donor therapy by outlawing the compensation traditionally provided to those who donate eggs for infertile couples. All this does is under-compensate valuable medical donors and discourage them from helping people who want to have a baby. Arizona would be the first state in the U.S., to RESOLVE’s knowledge, to deny egg donors appropriate compensation.
Egg donation therapy is the standard of care for many couples -- including young women who have undergone lifesaving cancer treatment and women facing the heartbreak of premature ovarian failure. We strongly object to the Arizona legislature in effect telling a young cancer survivor that she now needs to plan the additional expense of traveling for infertility treatment because there are no donors in Arizona to offer the treatment that will give her the chance of having a child.
When the United Kingdom removed compensation from egg and sperm donation in 2004, the number of donors dropped drastically. Instead of waiting years for one of the rare donors, couples turned to medical tourism, leaving the country for their medical treatment. Couples in Arizona will likely follow the same path, leaving for other states -- if they can afford the time and expense. If not, their dreams of a family will end.
Furthermore, SB 1306 is designed to discourage doctors from providing donor egg treatment by imposing a raft of new informed consent requirements coupled with harsh penalties -- loss of medical license -- if a doctor does not follow the new rules to the letter. The informed consent rules themselves contain inaccurate and purposefully scary language that would, again, discourage even the most compassionate women from donating eggs.
Women who choose to donate their eggs so that other families may have the chance of having a child, do so voluntarily. Studies have shown that many of these women are familiar with infertility from watching a family member or friend go through this devastating disease. ASRM guidelines provide that egg donors undergo careful screening, and they receive excellent medical care by the same reproductive endocrinologists who treat the hopeful parents. Like all doctors, infertility specialists provide patients, including egg donors, with appropriate information for informed consent. SB 1306, with its scary additional language, clearly has an agenda to discourage treatment via egg donation, heedless of the harm this could do to infertility patients who need the treatment.
RESOLVE also joins ASRM in opposing two other bills, SB 1307/ HB 2652, as they will place burdens on physicians in their labs that will undermine their clinical care of patients and interfere with the best practices in medicine that doctors practicing reproductive endocrinology and infertility medicine provide to every single patient.
To send a letter to members of the House Health and Human Services Committee, click here.
To send a letter to members of the Senate Public Safety and Human Services Committe, click here.
On behalf of the more than 100,000 women and men in Arizona who are contending with infertility, RESOLVE opposes SB 1306 / HB 2651 because they will burden and perhaps eliminate an effective medical treatment that has been used all across this country for decades.
It is women and men who are trying to build families who will suffer if these bills become law.
We need your support of this Bill! If your state delegate is on the Health and Government Operations Committee we need you to write to your Delegate today! Sending a letter of support for this bill will only take a few minutes of your time. To find out who your Delegate is, click here.