Dear Friends - Arizonian's need your help. There are two anti-family bills that are in the very last stages of being passed into law in AZ. We need all the signatures we can get to keep these from becoming law and basically ruining the ART community in Arizona. Please help!!! Here are some bullet points of what will happen if these bills are passed:
SB 1306: Instead of banning egg donation directly, the bill takes a more indirect route. It imposes unprecedented and unnecessary informed consent requirements. The penalties are severe: if a physician does not follow the new rules to the letter, he could wind up losing his license to practice medicine, being convicted of a Class 1 misdemeanor (the most serious class), and face 6 months in prison. SB 1306 also casts other common medical practices into question: Will physicians be allowed to freeze and thaw eggs for preservation, a common practice? Can physicians screen for genetic defects? Can new specialists and embryologists be trained? The physicians in the infertility practices believe these practices will no longer be legal. Physicians will no longer treat patients who need egg donation as a means to build their families in Arizona, driving these couples out of state to seek treatment.
SB 1307: The second bill, SB 1307, also contains provisions that threaten infertility patients, mainly through vague terms that make it unclear what treatments doctors can safely perform and which ones could land them in jail. Most flagrantly, this bill could forbid embryo cryopreservation (freezing) – which would dramatically alter how reproductive medicine is practiced and would cause harm and hardship to patients.The bill makes it criminal to harm an embryo in the course of "nontherapeutic research" -- but leaves it very unclear whether ordinary IVF embryology lab techniques could be classified as such illegal research.
The penalty for harming an embryo is steep: a minimum of 6 months in prison, and up to 1.5 years. The point of the legislation – to make it undesirable to practice reproductive medicine in Arizona and to drive the doctors and clinics out.
“The medical community working in this field strongly believes that [SB 1307] would prohibit:
• Practices that allow embryologists to screen embryos for genetic disease. Some genetic conditions can actually be removed from an embryo prior to transfer.
• Practices such as Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis that select only healthy embryos from genetically challenged couples, avoiding miscarriage and health risks.
• Screening to select only the most viable embryos for transfer allowing doctors to transfer one or two embryos. This reduces the need for multiple embryos that lead to high-order multiples and premature birth.
"With a class 6 felony and loss of license to practice, no physician in Arizona would dare take that chance. They would no longer be able to help Arizona couples have families. These unintended consequences will drive businesses out of Arizona, and force couples seeking this treatment to go elsewhere [if they can].
Please sign this petition to let the AZ legislators know you oppose these bills.
Protect Family Building Rights in Arizona