Abortion Bill Controversy - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Abortion Bill Controversy

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One of four abortion-related bills North Dakota lawmakers are discussing today, Senate Bill 2302, is creating controversy with fertility doctors.

The bill limits the amount of eggs doctors can attempt to fertilize, and stops sperm donation.

"The bill is intended to stop abortion but it's actually going to stop us from helping couples who want to have a baby," Stephanie Dahl, a fertility endocrinologist, said.

She says her patients are already up against enough, but in vitro fertilization often gives some hope.

"We are 17 weeks pregnant currently," Samantha Meyer, of North Fargo, said. "We have another appointment this week, so far so good."

Samantha came to Dr. Dahl out of option, but not out of strength.

"The only thing I've really ever wanted was to be a mom," she said. "I was willing to do anything and everything to have that."

Fighting breast cancer, Samantha's pregnancies were dangers. After undergoing a mastectomy and a hysterectomy, she can't carry children.

Freezing her eggs with Dr. Dahl and finding a surrogate mother is how she and her partner, Jack, were able to conceive.

Typically, for a cancer patient going through in vitro fertilization, about 20 eggs are harvested. But, with this new bill you could only harvest one or two, which makes your chances of getting pregnant pretty much disappear.

"If we're only able to attempt one or two eggs at a time, couples may need to try four or five times," Dahl said. "So, it just becomes cost prohibitive."

The bill bans freezing eggs while those patients go through treatment. So, if it passes, this is Samantha's only shot at motherhood.

"Because of something I was born with that I had nothing to do with, I would be denied that, it would just be devastating," she said.

Though the bill is being called a "right to life act," the executive director of the North Dakota Right to Life Organization says they take no stance on in vitro fertilization or birth control.

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