Assisted Reproduction & Abortion


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Seema Mohapatra, M.D. Anderson Foundation Endowed Professor in Health Law and Professor of Law, SMU Deadman School of Law, discusses the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade on assisted reproduction.


Discussion Questions

· Do you think that those who sought to overturn Roe v. Wade intended to impact assisted reproduction? Why or why not?

· Should it make a difference whether a medical procedure is intended to end a pregnancy vs. to preserve a pregnancy? Professor Mohapatra outlines the various ways that selective reduction may reduce risks to the pregnant person, fetus, and infant. How should that affect our understanding of the procedure?

· What are the potential impacts on who gets access to assisted reproduction? Should the likely disparities in impact influence how we treat embryos created with assisted reproduction?

· Professor Mohapatra talks about reproductive justice. What does she mean by “reproductive justice”? How should that influence our policies on assisted reproduction? Contraception? Access to pregnancy services? Access to abortion?

· Assisted reproduction is accessed disproportionately by white women, while abortion is accessed disproportionately by Black and Latina women. If states exempt assisted reproduction from abortion or personhood laws, who would that impact the goals of reproductive justice?

Selected Resources:

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/art/index.html.

Reproductive Justice Briefing Book: A Primer on Reproductive Justice and Social Change, https://www.law.berkeley.edu/php-programs/courses/fileDL.php?fID=4051

I.Glenn Cohen, Judith Daar, Eli Y. Adash, What Overturning Roe v. Wade May Mean for Assisted Reproductive Technologies in the US, JAMA doi:10.1001/jama.2022.10163 (published online June 6, 2022).

American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Center for Policy and Leadership, State Abortion Trigger Laws: Potential Implications for Reproductive Medicine, https://www.asrm.org/globalassets/asrm/asrm-content/news-and-publications/dobbs/cpl-report_impact-of-state-trigger-laws-on-reproductive-medicine_final.pdf

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