Support Reproductive Rights: Allow Continued Access to Fertility Treatments in the USA

Support Reproductive Rights: Allow Continued Access to Fertility Treatments in the USA

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Virtually all infertility treatments have stopped around the country. This petition is asking for ASRM, American Society of Reproductive Medicine, to reconsider the current suggested suspension on all ART fertility treatments and allow local doctors to make the best call for their patients. The human window of fertility is limited; if they wait until the outbreak is over to resume treatment, it will be too late for some patients to qualify for continued treatment. 

We highly value and advocate reproductive rights in our society. Let’s give these patients the same rights — a choice and agency in their reproduction as well. 

Same sex couples are disproportionately limited by these measures.  Others affected include patients diagnosed with genetic conditions, cancer and those who lost their fertility window due to recurrent miscarriages. Many have already experienced grief and loss which lead them to seek medical help. They have put countless hours, resources and hope on the line only to be suddenly stopped in the middle or prior to treatment. 

Fertility treatments include reproductive health procedures with goals other than immediate pregnancy. Those in need of D&C’s or uterine cavity checks after miscarriage are being turned away, which can harm emotional well being and risk infection. 

We need to safely provide care for patients since COVID-19 is not going away soon. 

At very least, those with greatest need of treatment and at lowest risk should be provided the opportunity to do preliminary fertility preservation cycles which may no longer be an option for them if treatment is delayed even months. These treatments are of low risk of complication with an experienced technician or provider. If clinics were to take precautions in patient procedures, there would also be a low risk of COVID-19 contraction.  

While these treatments should remain on hold in larger hospitals where we must not take resources from the ER, they can be more safely be provided at smaller IVF-only clinics. These IVF clinics can safely space out patients, appointments, practice social distancing, and frequent sanitizing.  Patients in turn can be asked to quarantine 14 days prior to any procedures and contact with staff.

In this uncertain period, we still allow essential work to be carried out. Despite the unprecedented nature of this pandemic, basic human rights standards have not changed.  Reproductive health is one such essential human right which should not be denied.