When Your Dreams of Motherhood Are Destroyed image

Marie Claire, October 1, 2018
Kayla Webley Adler, quoting I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)


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From the article: 

Neither major political party is expected to push for more regulation. Democrats aren’t likely to touch fertility because of how close the issue is to the abortion debate. “Any attempt to regulate reproductive technology almost inevitably leads to difficult questions relating to abortion,” says I. Glenn Cohen, director of the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School. “As a result, people have been shy, including those on the left who might be interested in pushing regulation in this area, because once they do so, there’s a real possibility it ends up resulting in restricting women’s reproductive rights.” Republicans similarly aren’t inclined to wade in because the whole idea of assisted reproductive technology (ART) makes them uncomfortable and regulating it is seen as tantamount to condoning it. “A significant number of conservatives find ART troubling or immoral,” Fox says. “They view the creation of life inside a lab as playing God and think if you regulate this stuff, you implicitly approve of the underlying practice that you disapprove of.”

But that doesn’t entirely explain why the government couldn’t impose a set of safety protocols, require annual inspections (currently, accredited clinics are inspected every other year),or codify straightforward reforms such as splitting up genetic material in two or more storage tanks so that a patient’s eggs aren’t literally in one basket. Few clinics take such additional safety measures because they add cost and complicate record keeping. 

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bioethics health law policy i. glenn cohen regulation reproductive rights reproductive technologies