Future LGBTQ+ parents ‘extremely concerned’ as more states consider foetal personhood bills

Proposed foetal rights are affecting future LGBTQ+ parents. (Getty)

Future LGBTQ+ parents are “extremely concerned” as more USA states are considering implementing foetal personhood bills, according to a new study. 

In the wake of the 2022 overturning of Roe v. Wade – which has since seen 14 states implementing total abortion bans and seven states placing gestational limits on abortion, according to The New York Times – states have since begun to consider whether embryos should have legal rights.

In February 2024, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos have the same legal rights as children. This sparked fear among fertility clinics that IVF providers could face criminal charges if they destroyed an embryo – which is a routine part of the IVF process. Biden also responded to the court’s decision, calling it “outrageous“. 

Several major fertility clinics in the state have stopped providing IVF (in vitro fertilisation) treatment, leaving LGBTQ+ couples, those with fertility issues, and hopeful single parents with little options for reproductive assistance. 

In fact, there are now three states – Missouri, Alabama and Georgia – with laws in effect which grant personhood rights to fertilised embryos. Arizona also enacted such a law, but it is currently blocked.

Other states are now considering similar legislation which would equate embryos and or foetuses as “people”. This would affect future parents reliant on IVF technology to bring a family into the world, especially LGBTQ+ families – who disproportionately require assisted reproductive services – and are now worried about their future parenthood plans. 

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A new study by SurrogateFirst found that 50% of same-sex couples said they are “extremely concerned” about foetal personhood bills, compared to 41% of heterosexual couples. 

Meanwhile, 67% of same-sex couples also expressed extreme worry that IVF and surrogacy could be negatively impacted by such bills, compared to 29% of heterosexual couples.

Surrogates – who are disproportionately relied on by LGBTQ+ people trying to start a family – have also expressed their thoughts, with 5% saying they are “extremely concerned” that IVF and surrogacy could be negatively impacted by the proposed bills.

The majority of surrogates (68%) said that the bills will not impact their willingness to help LGBTQ+ couples and partners facing infertility to bring a family into the world, saying they are “determined to help…no matter what hurdles” they encounter.

If this story has affected you, call Resolve, the National Infertility Association in the US on 866 668 2566 for a callback.