Hoping to prevent something along the lines of the birth of octoplets from happening in Georgia, state legislators proposed a bill that would cap the number of embryos created for any given round of in-vitro fertilization. The new rules would limit this to two embryos per cycle for a woman 39 years old or younger and three embryos for a woman above that age. In a press release, the president of Georgia Right to Life said the bill’s purpose is to “help reduce the attendant harm that could come to the mother and her children through the creation and implantation of more embryos than is medically recommended.”
In addition to limiting the number of embryos fertilized per cycle, an article in Slate.com explained how the bill, if passed, would give embryos legal rights, thus blocking certain types of stem cell research in the state. The Georgia legislation will probably not be voted on this year, but lawmakers there will likely reconsider the issue next year.
The proposed legislation does not take past IVF failures into account, unlike the joint guidelines previously issued by the Society for Assisted Reproductive Medicine and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. So in addition to limiting biomedical research, the legislation would also promote an oversimplified approach to reproductive medicine that would likely harm more women than it would help. What do you think about the proposed bill?
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