06/17/2022

What Could Happen To IVF In A Post-Roe V. Wade World

35:01 minutes

a microscopic image of a needle being inserted into a human egg a female egg on an IVF dish
Fertilizing a human through the in vitro fertilization process. Credit: Shutterstock

An overturn of Roe v. Wade could have rippling effects far beyond access to abortions. Some state laws designed to ban or severely restrict abortion could also disrupt the process of fertilizing, implanting, and freezing embryos used in in vitro fertilization. That’s because some of these laws include language about life beginning at conception, raising questions about in vitro fertilization’s (IVF) legality.

Roughly 2% of all infants in the United States are born following the use of some form of artificial reproductive technology. While that figure might seem small, it’s nearly double what it was just a decade ago.

Ira talks with Stephanie Boys, associate professor of social work and adjunct professor of law at Indiana University, about the legal implications of an overturn of Roe v. Wade on IVF treatment. Later, Ira also interviews Dr. Marcelle Cedars, director of the division of reproductive endocrinology at UC San Francisco and president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, about the science behind IVF and what people often get wrong about when and how life begins.  

This segment is part of Science Friday’s continuing coverage of the science behind reproductive health.


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Segment Guests

Stephanie Boys

Stephanie Boys is an associate professor of Social Work and an adjunct professor of Law at Indiana University in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Marcelle Cedars

Marcelle Cedars is President of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and Director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology at UC San Francisco in San Francisco, California.

Segment Transcript

The transcript is being processed. It will be available the week after the segment airs.

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About Shoshannah Buxbaum

Shoshannah Buxbaum is a producer for Science Friday. She’s particularly drawn to stories about health, psychology, and the environment. She’s a proud New Jersey native and will happily share her opinions on why the state is deserving of a little more love.

About Ira Flatow

Ira Flatow is the host and executive producer of Science FridayHis green thumb has revived many an office plant at death’s door.

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