State Abortion Trigger Laws: Potential Implications for Reproductive Medicine

Jul 01, 2022
  • Description

The U.S. Supreme Court's opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization (597 U.S. __, 2022), overturned the nearly 50-year precedent of Roe v. Wade (410 U.S. 113, 1973), which conferred a Constitutional right to abortion, and has sparked a litany of changes in state laws across the nation. In thirteen states, so-called "trigger" laws have and are set to take effect which ban or severely restrict abortion care.

While the overturn of Roe v. Wade does not necessarily restrict access to assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures, including in vitro fertilization (IVF), the details of state law are critical to understand, as overly broad statutory language and definitions could, intentionally or not, implicate and even ban such procedures. This decision and related state actions in its wake have the potential to severely limit the ability to provide high-quality, patient-centered maternal health care.

The ASRM Center for Policy and Leadership (CPL), with the pro bono support of Hogan Lovells, LLP, prepared this report to provide professionals, patients, and other members of the public with this high-level overview of states' abortion "trigger" laws and their impact on reproductive medicine, and assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures, including in vitro fertilization (IVF).