Home News Embryonic Research Could Be the Next Target After ‘Roe’

Embryonic Research Could Be the Next Target After ‘Roe’

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two weeks later The U.S. Supreme Court overturned federal abortion rights, and Ye Yuan heard a woman wanted to overturn her decision to donate her embryos to scientific research. The woman, who contacted Yuan anonymously through a fertility consultant, worries that if Colorado laws change to make it illegal to discard or experiment with human embryos, she will be forced to freeze her own embryos indefinitely. In a year or five, might the law be changed to stop her having the final say on what happened to them?

In states where human embryo research is legal, people undergoing IVF can often choose to donate any excess fertilized embryos to scientific research. These are sometimes used to find potential treatments for diseases such as diabetes, or, as in Yuan’s case, to study ways to make in vitro fertilization more successful. “Those discarded embryos are really one of the key parts of our high-quality platform here,” said Yuan, director of research at the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM).But with Dobbs After the verdict, he worries that people will be less likely to donate excess embryos for research, and that embryo research could be the next target for anti-abortion campaigners.

“It’s like you’re a little girl living in a dark room. You know there are bad people outside, but you don’t have to worry too much because the door is locked,” Yuan said. “But then someone told you that the door was unlocked.” Yuan worries that anything that slows the acquisition of human embryos will eventually slow the progress of in vitro fertilization, which accounts for 1 to 2 percent of births in the United States each year.

The majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito did not single out in vitro fertilization or human embryo research, but the words he chose to describe abortion could be seen as applying to in vitro embryos, bioethicists and jurisprudence Professor Glenn Cohen said at Harvard Law School. In his opinion, Alito noted that the right to abortion is different from other rights because it destroys the “potential life” and the life of the “unborn.”

“In my opinion, what he used to distinguish miscarriages applies perfectly to distinguishing embryos,” Cohen said. “For me, it made it very, very clear afterwards Dobbs Any country that wants to ban the destruction of embryos in research can do so. “

The wording that lawmakers use to describe the beginning of human life also matters.In at least nine states, trigger laws – legislation designed to limit expedited abortions after abortion roe– including language implying that the egg cell becomes an “unborn child” or “unborn person” at the exact moment of fertilization. In other words, by these definitions, every human embryo—including a donated embryo that might be used for scientific research—is an unborn child. While most of these triggering laws apply specifically to pregnancy and therefore do not regulate embryos outside the human body, the idea that life begins at the moment of fertilization can be used for embryo-specific research, Cohen said. “If you have that view, it’s not clear to me why you would exempt embryo destruction if you banned abortion. To me, that mistake is the same.”



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