For the first time in its history, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine has opposed a Supreme Court nominee
Medical and science journals have become far more politically active under the Trump Administration. The world’s most respected science publication, Nature, recently announced that it planned to rachet up its political advocacy to protect scholarly independence. Although it is often remarked that “political science” is an oxymoron, it even plans to publish more primary research in this area.
Following in Nature’s footsteps, perhaps, Fertility and Sterility, the voice of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, has blasted President Trump’s nominee for the US Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett.
In the 70-year history of Fertility and Sterility, there has never been a statement published on the seating of a U.S. Supreme Court justice. We feel that with the vacancy of Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s seat on the Supreme Court, women’s constitutional rights are in jeopardy. The nomination of the justice under consideration is of such peril that we write these words of grave concern today.
The statement puts the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg on a pedestal as a champion of equality for women and reproductive choice. Beside RBG, ACB cuts a sorry figure.
Our distress in the specter of Barrett’s future repeal of legislature surrounding reproductive choice derives from her public record of elevating her own personal beliefs regarding human reproduction over science, a devastating threat to women’s liberty and reproductive choice.
The ASRM fears that ACB could put its members out of business in a huge and growing market. The industry is estimated to be worth US$25 billion globally and it could grow to $41 billion by 2026.
Frighteningly, any procedure that might risk the embryo’s viability would put physicians at risk for criminal violation. Letting supernumerary embryos go or those that were aneuploid or affected with a single gene disorder would be illegal. Physicians would be forced to transfer all embryos, resulting in greater health risk to women and lower pregnancy rates as has been repeatedly demonstrated in countries that do not impose these restrictions. Scientific advances in the field would come to an immediate and devastating halt without the ability to continue reproductive research.
Although Judge Barrett refused to answer questions about IVF, abortion and contraception during her confirmation hearings in the Senate, her critics point to the fact that she signed an advertisement in 2006 which opposed “abortion on demand” and defended “the right to life from fertilization to the end of natural life.”
Michael Cook is editor of BioEdge
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