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The Puzzle of IVF

25 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2006  

Dena S. Davis

Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

Date Written: March 2006


This essay seeks to address a puzzling element of the current political and legal struggles over abortion in the United States: if, as pro-life activists insist, embryos are morally equivalent to born, living persons, then why do these activists not oppose in vitro fertilization (IVF) as aggressively as they oppose abortion? IVF accounts for a significant number of destroyed embryos. Constitutionally, IVF appears to be a much more vulnerable target than abortion. And yet, legislative and political attempts to attack and restrict IVF are few, while attempts to erode women's capability to terminate pregnancies are a constant feature of our political and legal landscape.

Keywords: abortion, in vitro fertilization

Suggested Citation

Davis, Dena S., The Puzzle of IVF (March 2006). Cleveland-Marshall Legal Studies Paper No. 06-125. Available at SSRN: or

Dena S. Davis (Contact Author)

Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law ( email )

2121 Euclid Avenue, LB 138
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
United States

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