Monday, October 10, 2011

When ART imitates Life

According to the data rich CDC 2008 report (dated Dec. 2010) on assisted reproductive technology (ART), 61,426 live births were recorded in 2008 from 148,055 discrete ART cycles. It was mandated in 1992 through the Fertility Clinic Success Rate and Certification Act (FCSRCA) that fertility clinics had to report the outcomes of assisted reproduction. This is an amazing database, regardless of your political or religious views, and has been a model for those for nursing homes, hospitals and physicians. (JAMA, "public reporting of clinical outcomes of Assisted Reproductive Technology Programs," Sept. 14, 2011, p. 1135-1136.

The ART database tracks oocytes retrieved, embryos transferred, embryos and gametes frozen for later use, donor eggs, non-donor eggs, age of mother, multiple births, etc. In the meanwhile, there were about 1.2 million abortions in 2008--over 28,000 just in Ohio. I'm guessing primarily the rich use ART; the poor and black are going the abortion route. Non-Hispanic black women account for 30%, Hispanic women for 25% of total abortions--blacks are about 12% of the population.

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