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Your urgent and immediate action on two bills introduced in the Georgia State Senate is of vital importance. .

Posted Mar 04 2009 2:28pm

In talking with Evelina, who is in GA (and on the EDSPA Board) and very involved with fighting this (which may be voted into law by next Thursday!) This bill is about only being able to MAKE 2 or 3 embryos at a TIME....not just what you can transfer. So if you are under 40 and have 12 eggs, only 2 can be fertilized...if you are over 40 then only 3 can be fertilized! No more then that....We need to clearly get the truth of this bill a crossed to everyone because who is going to want to make just 2 or 3 embryos at a time? Who can pick and choose which eggs would be the best to fertilize AND then there would be NO EMBRYOS LEFT for freezing! (perhaps you can freeze the eggs however that is not perfected yet and the cost....well....it just wouldn't be worth it) Apparently it's the right to lifers who are pouring money into this GA bill so that there will/would be no more 'babies on ice"...

On another note, if this bill passes I hear that the ASRM will consider moving the Oct. meeting to another location.

Please forgive me for posting this but I wanted everyone to read this!
Sharon LaMothe (comments welcome!)

This was posted by Mark Perloe~

Your urgent and immediate action on two bills introduced in the Georgia State Senate is of vital importance. .

The Georgia Senate Health & Human Services Committee will hold a hearing on two bills: SB 169 and SB 204 this Thursday, March 5, at 9:00 AM in Room 450 of the State Capitol. At the hearing, the committee will hear testimony on the bills. Reproductive medicine physicians from across the state, along with Resolve and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) oppose both of the bills. The hearing is open to the public and we encourages you to attend the hearing and send a letter to the Committee members before Thursday. To send a letter immediately, click here.

Senate Bill 169 would restrict doctors' ability to perform IVF in accordance with best medical standards. Here are the key provisions:
- No more than 2 or 3 eggs could ever be fertilized in a cycle; if a woman produced more eggs, they still could not be used.
- Only 2 embryos could ever be transferred to the uterus, unless the woman is age 40 or over (then a max of 3).
- No extra embryos could be cryopreserved. If they are created, they have to be transferred.
- No financial relief, such as insurance coverage, is proposed to help with the added financial burden of using less effective treatment. Patients will still have to pay out of pocket for less effective treatment.
- Bans all financial compensation for donor gametes, such as egg donor, sperm donor, or embryo donation, which would reduce the pool of available donors in Georgia.

SB 204 is an embryo adoption bill. It would subject embryo donation to all the same provisions as required by law for adoption of a child. This would subject infertility patients needing an embryo donation to go through the judicial proceedings, home visits, and other procedures required for an adoption. Such treatment is not appropriate nor is it needed for embryo donation.

If you care about open access to the best care possible, let the Committee members know before Thursday that you oppose these two bills. To send a letter or fax to the Committee, simply click here http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http://secure2.convio.net%2Fres%2Fsite%2FAdvocac for a letter template that will be automatically sent to each of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee members. You can also call your state Senator even if they are not on the Committee and tell them you oppose these two bills. A full list of the Committee members can be found by clicking on the link below, then clicking on the Senators name for a link to their direct contact information: http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http://www.legis.ga.gov%2Flegis%2F2009_10%2Fsena

Please be respectful in all communications to the elected officials and their staff. Please remember that rude communications work against our interests.

Thank you for taking action today and showing the Georgia Senate that you care about open and available access to care for the women and men diagnosed with infertility in the state of Georgia.

To send a letter to the Committee members immediately, click here. http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http://secure2.convio.net%2Fres%2Fsite%2FAdvocac


To view the full text of the bills please follow the links below:

SB 169: http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http://www.legis.state.ga.us%2Flegis%2F2009_10%2

SB 204: http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http://www.legis.state.ga.us%2Flegis%2F2009_10%2


Georgia Economic Impact
• More than $200 million in revenue and countless jobs would be lost by Georgia medical practices, psychologists, lawyers, pharmacists, as well as by those in the restaurant and lodging industry who provide services to those traveling for care.
• An expected 50-60% drop in live births associated with legislation limiting the number of oocytes fertilized or transferred would create a powerful incentive for Georgia couples to seek care outside Georgia. Alternatively, they would have to consider multiple treatment cycles to achieve the same success rate as we now see. The cost for additional treatment cycles as well as lost productivity due to time away from jobs can not be immediately calculated.
• Embryo donation is the most a cost effective option for many couples hoping to build a family. Yet this legislation would impose additional legal expenses and home studies that would create a significant cost barrier for many with limited financial resources. As a result this option would no longer be available for many couples
• The majority of higher order multiple pregnancies [triplets or more] result from ovulation induction and not IVF. This legislation will result in a marked decrease in local IVF services and a dramatic increase in the number of ovulation induction cycles with the higher risk of multiple births and the resultant costs.
• The American Society of Reproductive Medicine is planning its annual meeting in Atlanta this fall. Approximately 5,000 people are expected to attend. Passing this legislation will induce many to stay at home. The resultant revenue loss for our convention and travel industry comes at a very difficult time for our economy.
• This legislation will preclude the use of preimplantation embryo screening to prevent diseases such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, Huntington’s diease and other genetic conditions that result in an enormous financial burden to the individual and often to the state to provide ongoing medical care.
• The financial cost of defending court challenges to HBB during an economic downturn is a needless tax on government funds.
• Biotech industry seeking to relocate will likely have second thoughts about moving to Georgia with passage of this legislation.

Unanswered Questions
• Will cryopreserved embryos that already exist be subject to this law?
• Will this law be applicable to embryos that have been created in another state?
• Will this law apply if the individuals are not Georgia state residents?
• Does this law allow for inheritance rights for embryos deemed to be children?
• Are embryos entitled to social security survivor benefits?
• Will embryos be entitled to child support in the case of divorce to cover the expense of storage?
• Will women who have undergone embryo transfer be able to use the HOV lane….there is an additional “child” on board.
• What happens to embryos that were frozen more than two at a time?
• What about agencies that charge a fee to match recipients and embryo donors while not providing a medical service? Will this be considered the same as selling a baby?
• If an embryo has been frozen longer than 18 years is it still a child? How do you calculate a child's age if the embryo is 20 years old, but the child was born two years ago, how old is the child?
• Not too infrequently, a one cell embryo splits resulting in twins. As this bill describes a single cell embryo as a child do we consider these identical twins as one child or two?
• If an embryo has been frozen longer than 18 years is it still a child? How do you calculate a child's age if the embryo is 20 years old, but the child was born two years ago, are we dealing with a child or an adult?
• The bill states that its purpose is to promote the best interest of the child. As cryopreserved embryos are classified as children and only 20-30% of embryo transfers results in pregnancy, we must ask if this means all embryos should undergo cryopreservation rather than transferring them to avoid the 80% loss rate for these "children"?
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