IVF and the Anti-Abortion Movement

Considerations for Advocacy Against Overturning Roe v. Wade


  • Stephanie K. Boys Indiana University
  • Evan M. Harris Indiana University




In vitro fertilization (IVF), policy advocacy, abortion, Roe v. Wade, life at conception laws


As the anti-abortion movement gains ground in the United States, it is important to explore the potential impact of overturning Roe v. Wade (1973) on the practice of IVF (in vitro fertilization). If the United States Supreme Court abandoned the legal right to early pregnancy terminations, it would open the door for states to enforce laws defining life to begin at conception. In all likelihood, legally establishing life to begin at conception may make IVF far less likely to be successful, significantly more expensive, more likely to result in high risk pregnancies with multiples, and more medically invasive. As the prevalence of IVF grows, this is a practice that should no longer be ignored in the political discourse on abortion. Instead, the unintended consequences of life at conception bills on the cost, availability, safety, and success rates of IVF can provide a strong argument in the toolbox of strategies for social workers lobbying against anti-abortion legislation.

Author Biographies

Stephanie K. Boys, Indiana University

Assistant Professor of Social Work

Evan M. Harris, Indiana University

Social of Social Work

Doctoral candidate


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