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ASRM Files Amicus Brief in Texas Embryo Case

May 7, 2024
For Immediate Release

Washington, DC - The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief in the case of Antoun v Antoun, which is pending before the Texas Supreme Court. 

The case involves a now-divorced couple who had two children using in vitro fertilization (IVF) while married. At the time of their divorce, the couple had three additional embryos that were frozen and stored during the IVF process. As part of the informed consent process prior to treatment, the patients signed a form indicating their wishes for the disposition of the embryos in the event of divorce. One of the patients is now seeking to undo that agreement and use those embryos. Both the trial court and the Court of Appeals of Texas rejected that attempt. The petitioner has now appealed the decision to the Texas Supreme Court. 

In its brief, ASRM discusses how the IVF process works, including the need for strong informed consent and agreement on how to deal with any embryos that are in excess of the patient's immediate clinical need. ASRM’s brief says, “These agreements give patients control over the disposition of their embryos and honor patients' choices and autonomy over how they would like to handle their frozen embryos in the future.” 

The brief pointed to a recent real-world example of the devastating impact an ill-informed decision can have on these matters. “We recently saw what happens when a state’s highest court rules, as Alabama’s did, that embryos created via IVF and existing only in a frozen state outside of a uterus, are ‘children’… If this court holds that a frozen embryo is a legal ‘person,’ Texas fertility clinics will similarly be thrown into legal limbo and may be forced to stop providing IVF services.” 

Paula Amato, MD, President of ASRM, said, “It is imperative that policymakers, from all branches and all levels of government, understand the real-world implications of their decisions. Caring for fertility patients is complex. Judges need to recognize that complexity and the impact their decisions could have on patients and providers when these cases come before them. We at ASRM are deeply committed to doing our part to help policymakers understand the medical facts as they grapple with policy questions.” 

Read the full amicus brief


For almost a century, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has been the global leader in multidisciplinary reproductive medicine research, ethical practice, and education. ASRM impacts reproductive care and science worldwide by creating funding opportunities for advancing reproduction research and discovery, by providing evidence-based education and public health information, and by advocating for reproductive health care professionals and the patients they serve. With members in more than 100 countries, the Society is headquartered in Washington, DC, with additional operations in Birmingham, AL. www.asrm.org 

For media inquiries regarding this press release contact:

Sean Tipton
ASRM Chief Advocacy and Policy Officer
E: stipton@asrm.org

Anna Hovey
Advocacy Engagement Specialist
E: ahovey@asrm.org 

J. Benjamin Younger Office of Public Affairs 
726 7th St. SE
Washington, DC 20003
Tel: (202) 863-2494

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