SB 1306 (the egg bill)
The good news: SB 1306 no longer bans compensation for egg donors (which would have effectively ended egg donation treatment in Arizona).
The bad news: It still mandates unprecedented informed consent procedures for egg donation that apply only in Arizona. Informed consent is already obtained by all physicians before any medical procedure, but the Arizona Government is now dictating to fertility doctors exactly how and when egg donor consent must be done. The goal, it appears, is to discourage the long-standing and mainstream therapeutic treatment of egg donation for infertility, regardless of how much it might be needed by an infertile couple to have a family.
SB 1307 (the embryo bill)
The good news: IVF should be unaffected because the bill dropped language making it a crime if an embryo were harmed in the course of “nontherapeutic research.” The bill has also dropped language that equated microscopic embryos and people.
The bad news: The bill bans embryonic stem cell research and somatic cell nuclear transfer. For many infertility patients, donating unneeded embryos to research is a preferred option, but with this bill no such option will be available in Arizona. Arizona will not be an attractive destination for scientific institutes and researchers.
SB 1307 is getting a fair amount of ridicule in the media because it also bans creating human-animal hybrids, chimeras, and cellular combinations that are the stuff of science fiction. The truth, however, is that some important mainstream research (including research designed to create stem cells without embryos) is now going to be banned.
So, at least for this legislative session, IVF and egg donation therapy will be able to continue. For all of our patients in Arizona who are struggling with infertility, we are relieved that you will not have the burdens of these bad laws to add to your troubles. I am still concerned, however, that this was only the first attack, and that more anti-family bills will be coming.
The best way to ward off future anti-family laws is to put a face on infertility by getting to know your legislators. Please, in the next month and over the summer — call, write, and most of all VISIT your state representative and senator. Just call their offices and make an appointment. Once there, tell them about your experience with infertility and urge them not to support any bills that could interfere with your efforts to have a family. If we educate legislators, maybe we can head off misguided and misinformed bills like SB 1306 and 1307 in the future.
ONCE AGAIN, OUR STATE HAS TAKEN A GIANT STEP BACKWARDS