Will Supreme Court abortion ruling affect fertility treatments in Texas?

Fertility specialists nationwide expressing concern about potential future legislation

Days after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, health care professionals pour over their state laws, determining which parts of their practices are affected.

SAN ANTONIO - – Days after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, health care professionals pour over their state laws, determining which parts of their practices are affected.

Fertility specialists across the country are now discussing the future of their own treatment.

Thirty days after the SCOTUS ruling, a trigger law will go into effect in the state of Texas that bans all abortions, except in rare cases to save the life of a pregnant patient.

“The Texas law specifically talks about a pregnant individual, so as of now, our understanding is this should not directly affect fertility care. For couples who are looking to build their family, that would be the opposite of what they’re talking about,” said renowned infertility specialist Dr. Randall Robinson, who is the chair of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Departments at UT Health San Antonio and University Health System.

Dr. Robinson has been listening closely over the past few days to colleagues nationwide discussing what would happen if this ruling prompted other laws that define life as beginning at conception.

“There’s nothing in there about personhood and when life begins, which could impact on our ability to practice if there are laws or legislation that end up changing. But as of now, it really should just affect elective abortions,” he said.

The general concern among fertility specialists is about the ability to offer services like freezing embryos and in vitro fertilization.

“I’m personally concerned about -- that if additional legislation would be passed, that would make it a lot more difficult to provide that family building that we want to provide for our patients,” Robinson said.

However, Robinson and his colleagues are continuing care as usual without the current laws mentioning embryo status or so-called personhood definitions.

“We don’t perform elective abortions at University Health System or UT Health, so that’s not going to impact on the care we’re delivering at present, but obviously, if there’s changes to the laws and legislation, that could certainly impact on what we’re able to do,” he said.

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About the Authors:

Courtney Friedman is a KSAT anchor and reporter. She has an ongoing series called Loving in Fear, confronting Bexar County’s domestic violence epidemic. She's also covered Hurricane Harvey, the shootings in Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe, and tornadoes throughout Texas. She’s a California native and proud Longhorn who loves calling SA home.