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About Assisted Reproduction


Most assisted reproductive technologies (ART) are used to treat infertility. Others are used when there are no fertility problems. Embryo screening or pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, for example, is used in order to prevent the births of children with specific genetic characteristics.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) refers to assisted reproduction procedures in which sperm and eggs are joined outside a woman's body. Women undergoing IVF are given hormonal drugs to promote the development of multiple eggs, which are retrieved with a minor surgical procedure. The eggs are mixed with sperm; one or more of those that fertilize are then transferred to the woman's uterus.

IVF has been in use since 1978 and has resulted in almost four million births worldwide. A number of IVF-related techniques have been introduced since then. Some of these, such as pre-implantation genetic diagnosis and commercial gestational surrogacy, raise significant ethical and policy concerns. In the United States alone, the assisted reproduction business is estimated to create over $3 billion in revenues a year.

Research on the risks associated with ART is notoriously inadequate. There have been few follow-up studies either on women who have used ARTs or their children. The United States is also known for having few laws governing assisted reproduction and little oversight of ART facilities.



Freezing Eggs May Reduce A Woman's Odds Of Success With IVFby Robin Marantz HenigNPRAugust 28th, 2015With egg freezing being touted as a way for women to potentially expand future childbearing options, the viability of those eggs when they're defrosted is still relatively unknown.
Online Extra: Political Notes: CA bill protecting same-sex parents advancesby Matthew S. BajkoBay Area ReporterAugust 27th, 2015CA bill revising legal parentage for families using assisted reproduction and donor gametes moves forward to Governor's desk.
Nepal Bans Surrogate Births — Worry for Gay Israelis by JTAThe ForwardAugust 27th, 2015Nepal’s Supreme Court issued an injunction to stop surrogate pregnancies — joining Thailand and India — blocking future foreign intended parents seeking surrogates.
Banning Abortion for Down Syndrome: Legal or Ethical Justification? by Bonnie SteinbockHastings Center Bioethics ForumAugust 26th, 2015Instead of passing an unenforceable and unconstitutional law, Ohio should devote its time to ensuring that all people with disabilities, Down syndrome or otherwise, get the resources and services they need.
Court: $50M verdict in Seattle-area ‘wrongful birth’ doesn't shock the conscienceby Levi PulkkinenSeattlePIAugust 26th, 2015Washington three-judge panel affirms multi-million jury award to couple who sued their fertility clinic for failing to effectively screen for their new child's chromosomal abnormality.
[Video] Is It Worth Your Time and Money to Freeze Your Eggs?by StaffBroadly [VICE]August 24th, 2015Broadly investigates the commercial promises of Egg Banxx "freezing parties" while following a patient through the process of egg retrieval, featuring Marcy Darnovksy.
We're Tantalizingly Close to a New Era in Childbirthby Ellie KincaidTech InsiderAugust 24th, 2015Developing technology that increases the chances of pregnancy for women over 35, though a feat in itself with many benefits, will solve one problem only imperfectly, and raise many more questions.
Choosing Children’s Sex Is an Exercise in Sexism[Australia]by Tereza HendlThe ConversationAugust 23rd, 2015Australian guidelines for ethical use of IVF allow sex selection for medical reasons. But draft guidelines now open for public submissions may allow the choice for social reasons.
Ohio Bill Would Ban Abortion if Down Syndrome Is Reasonby Tamar LewinThe New York TimesAugust 22nd, 2015Abortion opponents are pushing Ohio to make it illegal for a doctor to perform an abortion if a woman is terminating her pregnancy to avoid having a baby with Down syndrome.
Conversation with Kelly Hills: Human Genetic Modification & Bioethicsby Paul KnoepflerKnoepfler Lab Stem Cell BlogAugust 20th, 2015An interview with bioethics commentator Kelly Hills tackles some of the key issues surrounding the potential use of CRISPR-Cas9 technology to make heritable genetic modifications in humans.
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