States’ Regulation of Assisted Reproductive Technologies: What Does the U.S. Constitution Allow?

Michelle N. Meyer

Harvard Law School

July 1, 2009

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, 2009
Harvard Public Law Working Paper

This paper addresses the extent to which the rights of privacy and reproductive liberty protected by the United States Constitution prevent states from regulating assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs). It concludes that under the best interpretation of the Supreme Court’s existing case law, states have ample room to regulate individuals’ decisions to procreate, including decisions to use ARTs. States, pursuant to their police powers, may regulate ARTs in order to protect the health, safety, and welfare of their citizens. However, courts will strictly scrutinize any regulation of procreation that distinguishes socially disfavored groups for different treatment. Similarly, even where a regulation would apply equally to all citizens, it must serve a legitimate governmental interest, rather than merely reflect “outmoded taboos.”

A companion essay, Throwing the Baby Out with the Amniotic Fluid: Not All Reproductive Choices are Morally or Legally Equivalent, is available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=2127286. Two law review articles in progress, Rights To and Not To Procreate and Towards a Jurisprudence of Procreation, develop these ideas.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 17

Keywords: ARTs, assisted reproductive technologies, constitutional law, procreation, reproduction

Download This Paper

Date posted: August 9, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Meyer, Michelle N., States’ Regulation of Assisted Reproductive Technologies: What Does the U.S. Constitution Allow? (July 1, 2009). The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, 2009; Harvard Public Law Working Paper. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2127377 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2127377

Contact Information

Michelle N. Meyer (Contact Author)
Harvard Law School ( email )
1575 Massachusetts
Hauser 406
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.law.harvard.edu/programs/petrie-flom/fellowship/meyer.html
Feedback to SSRN

Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 328
Downloads: 45

© 2015 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo3 in 0.281 seconds