Urges Voters Reject It on November 2
Denver, CO – The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has called on the residents of Colorado to vote NO on Amendment 62 when they go to the polls November 2. Like a ballot measure defeated in 2008, Amendment 62 would give legal rights to fertilized eggs under the Colorado Constitution, and in doing so, would imperil vital medical care and eliminate or make unsafe important family building options for those suffering from infertility.
“In vitro fertilization procedures will be made less safe as patients would be forced to transfer all fertilized eggs without regard to their viability, chromosomal abnormalities or carrier status for dreadful genetic disorders,” explained William Schlaff, MD, an ASRM Board Member practicing in Denver.
Schlaff delivered his comments during a press event held in conjunction with ASRM’s 66th Annual Meeting at the Colorado Convention Center attended by more than 6,000 obstetricians and gynecologists, urologists, reproductive endocrinologists, embryologists, mental health professionals and others working in the field of reproductive medicine.
Schlaff cited a study by one of the largest clinics in the U.S., which found that in its practice only 7.5 percent of all fertilized eggs went on to become live born children due to the fact that human reproduction is an intricate and inefficient process. The vast majority of sperm and eggs never get together to even begin the fertilization process. For those that do, an overwhelming majority of fertilized eggs do not become viable embryos, and only a small percentage of embryos thought to be viable produce a child.
Added Schlaff, “Proponents of Amendment 62 ignore the well-established biologic truths of embryo development.”
The amendment would make infertility doctors and their patients liable for every embryo which fails to develop or does not result in a pregnancy despite rendering the best possible medical care.
Speaking about restrictions on access to contraceptive measures that would result under Amendment 62, ASRM Board Member and Colorado physician Nanette Santoro said, “This measure has far-reaching consequences that will jeopardize a woman’s health and the care she receives from her physician. As a reproductive specialist, and as a woman, I am alarmed that this measure has re-surfaced in Colorado and am very concerned about the detrimental effect it would have on women’s health should it be approved.”
ASRM President William Gibbons, MD summed up the society’s concerns: “Reproductive doctors have the utmost respect for each embryo created as part of the in vitro process. In the same year that a respected scientist can win the Nobel Prize for perfecting in vitro fertilization techniques, it is ironic that we must stand here in the middle of the United States to defend its practice and the practice of reproductive freedom.”