If Measure 1 passes, all three infertility doctors in North Dakota will cease offering in vitro fertilization
(IVF) services in the state.
“Measure 1 would make the practice of IVF impossible in North Dakota,” said Dr. Stephanie Dahl in a press
conference in Fargo Monday. “If Measure 1 is enacted, we will stop offering IVF, which will affect hundreds of
North Dakotans who dream of having families.”
Dr. Dahl, Dr. Steffen Christensen and Dr. Kristen Cain are board-certified physicians in obstetrics and gynecology
specializing in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. They are the only doctors in North Dakota to offer IVF
to treat infertility and preserve future fertility for cancer patients. The doctors treat patients across the state,
and their work has helped North Dakota families have more than 1,000 babies.
If approved in November, Measure 1 would permanently add this to the state constitution: “The inalienable
right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and protected.”
When the legislation that became Measure 1 was considered by the legislature in 2013, all three doctors
testified in opposition to it, citing the risks it would create for IVF.
Under Measure 1, once a human egg is fertilized, it would have the same legal protections as a person. As a
result, the doctors said medical professionals would be considered criminally liable in situations like lab
accidents, discarding abnormal embryos that result in miscarriages and cryopreservation of embryos.
“If Measure 1 passes, we will stop offering IVF immediately,” Dahl said. “We will begin the process of helping our
IVF patients get the health care services they need in Minnesota, South Dakota or Colorado.”
According to the CDC, infertility affects one in 8 couples. IVF is often the only successful treatment option for
infertility, especially for couples struggling with male factor infertility.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine,
RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, and the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies all
released statements opposing Measure 1, Cain said.
“We urge ND voters to consider the harm that this measure would create for North Dakota families and to vote
‘no’ on Measure 1,” Christensen said.