In New Push for “Personhood,” Arizona Anti-Choicers Push Bill to Track Every Embryo
An Arizona group seeking to establish legal personhood for fertilized eggs and embryos is proposing a new way for the state to keep tabs on the personal reproductive decisions of its citizens: Embryo tracking.
“…trying and failing for full personhood that would ban abortion by, basically, making doctors and women guilty of murder. They have failed to date, thankfully, which is why CAP has altered their approach. Instead of coming after personhood head on, they are now taking smaller steps that seem somewhat innocuous. In addition to the redundant and unnecessary reporting, much of which is already required by the CDC, this is merely the beginning of a constant chipping away at the choices available for Arizona families.
“The bill,” noted the source, “is so poorly written and vaguely constructed that no one can say for sure how such a database will be used to go against doctors and even women later.”
Calls to both supporters and opponents of the bill were not returned as of this writing because of the federal holiday.
If passed, SB 1376 would threaten the practices and licenses of reproductive endocrinologists in Arizona. Failure to file reports or filing a false report on embryo creation, transfer, destruction, or movement from one facility to another would be a criminal act and result in an automatic determination of an act of unprofessional conduct. Facilities that violate the requirements are subject to discipline by the state Department of Health Services and also to civil penalties.
This bill requires all “ART” facilities to report annually (either electronically or in written form) the following information to the State Department of Health Services, which in turn would make it publicly available:
- Total number of live births achieved
- Rate of live births per transfer
- Percentage of live births per completed cycle of egg retrieval
- Percentage of transferred embryos that implant
Information regarding the safekeeping of embryos including:
- Number of embryos formed
- Number of embryos transferred
- Number of embryos preserved
- Number of embryos deemed not viable for transfer or preservation and destroyed
- Number of embryos deemed not viable for transfer or preservation and used for training
- Number of embryos not deemed viable for transfer or preservation and used for research
- Number of preserved embryos destroyed
- Number of preserved embryos used for research
- Number of preserved embryos donated to any person for research
- Number of embryos donated to another individual for transfer
- Percentage of pregnancies resulting in multi-fetal pregnancies broken down by number of fetuses
- Percentage of live births having multiple infants
- Number of selective reductions performed, broken down by number of embryos transferred before the reduction
- Percentage of selective reductions resulting in miscarriage
- Percentage of birth defects per single and multiple births
Penalties for non-compliance include:
- Failure to file a report results in automatic determination of an act of unprofessional conduct
- Filing a false report is a Class 1 misdemeanor (just below felony in the law)
- In addition to individual penalties, any organization or facility that violates the reporting requirements is subject to discipline by the Department including civil penalties.
Apart from intruding on the decisions of couples or individuals struggling with infertility, SB 1376 seeks to achieve other means, including intimidating doctors who practice assisted reproductive technology and eventually to shame those who rely on it to become pregnant, as well as a stepping stone to establishing “personhood” for fertilized eggs and embryos.