As expected, personhood legislation was overwhelmingly approved by both the Virginia House of Delegates and the Oklahoma Senate this week. In Virginia, the GOP controlled House approved HB1 which now moves to the Senate for a hearing February 23 at which an ASRM member is preparing to testify. RESOLVE, The National Infertility Association also held a press briefing which garnered press attention on the harms of the bill. In Oklahoma, the Senate approved SB1433. ASRM/SART sent letters of opposition to lawmakers in both states and activated its members to send their own letters. Meanwhile, a personhood bill has been filed in Mississippi.
In Maryland, ASRM/SART submitted letters of opposition on HB 873/SB 508, legislation aimed at governing surrogacy contracts, but that go much further in application. The bills would require a fitness standard of intended parents, a level of scrutiny that is unprecedented and unwarranted and would permit a court to terminate a gestational carrier agreement for good cause, a term not defined. ASRM is gravely concerned about provisions creating an assisted reproduction registry that far exceeds federal law reporting requirements and which would require tracking of every embryo. Hearings will be held in the House Judiciary Committee and Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on February 23 and March 6 respectively. An ASRM representative will testify at those hearings.
Legislation to ban all surrogacy contracts passed the South Dakota House this week. HB1255 has been referred to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, members of which received a letter of opposition from ASRM/SART.
ASRM/SART sent a letter of opposition to members of the New York House and Senate health committees regarding problematic sperm donor legislation. AB 9039/SB 6272 would curtail the rights of patients who need a sperm donor to build their families. The bills would limit to ten the number of offspring any one donor can conceive and create a donor registry in the state. ASRM argued there is no scientific evidence to support the cap at ten and referenced existing professional guidelines while maintaining a single state based registry would not only be ineffective, but also intrusive.