|These embryonic stem cells were generated from embryos left over from people undergoing IVF. Image: Prue Talbot at the University of California, Riverside|
The New Mexico Senate has passed a measure that would allow people to donate embryos left over after in vitro fertilization for use in stem cell research.
Without this measure, people in New Mexico undergoing IVF had three options for their left over embryos: store them indefinitely, donate them to another woman attempting pregnancy through IVF or destroy them. When researchers have surveyed people going through IVF, they’ve found that a large number would prefer donating embryos to research over these other options.
States in the U.S. have a patchwork of laws, allowing people in some states to donate left over embyos to research but prohibiting that option in other states. If this measure passes the house and is signed by the governor, couples in New Mexico will have the option of research donation when they have completed their family.
We’ve blogged in the past about embryo donation:
People who undergo IVF are often left with excess embryos after they complete their families or abandon the process. Storing these embryos in nitrogen comes with a monthly or yearly cost, which is why many people choose to stop storing, which destroys the embryo, donate to another couple or donate to science. In some cases, donating to science includes donating the embryo for stem cell research.
We also have information on our website about how new cell lines are generated from IVF embryos.