CNA: At Fertility Clinics, Abandoned Human Embryos Could Number in the Millions

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Human embryos.

Neither the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nor the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology require fertility clinics to report how many embryos have been abandoned at their clinics.

By Catholic News Agency, 8/14/19

DENVER — The number of “abandoned” human embryos in the United States could number in the millions, and many fertility specialists are reticent to discuss the dilemma of what to do with frozen embryos, according to a recent NBC News report.

According to Christine Allen, a fertility doctor who runs a consultant business called Elite IVF, most fertility clinics fertilize far more eggs than they plan to use when performing in vitro fertilization, leading to the practice of indefinitely freezing surplus embryos— far more even than the process of IVF, which has a high failure rate, attempts to implant into a woman’s uterus.

“You see [some women] having 40, 50 or 60 eggs retrieved in a cycle and the embryologist gets the orders from her doctor to inseminate all of them — and the question isn’t asked if the patient even wants that many inseminated. Nobody’s going to have 30 kids,” Allen told NBC News.

Several fertility doctors told NBC News that many clinics consider embryos abandoned after patients stop paying storage fees and fail to respond to the clinic’s attempts to contact them. ….