Topeka A bill that would require reporting and monitoring of more information on fertility treatments was before the Legislature on Thursday.
Sen. Mary Pilcher Cook, R-Shawnee, said she proposed the Women’s Health and Embryo Monitoring Act because there is a lack of oversight in the areas of egg and sperm donation, and in vitro fertilization.
But opponents of Senate Bill 509 said it was intrusive, expensive and could result in the release of private medical information.
According to a state fiscal note, the bill would require fertility clinics to report information to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment from a list of 70 data items.
KDHE must keep the database confidential, but the bill would allow for the use of data for investigatory or evidentiary purposes, the state said. The measure would cost KDHE nearly $250,000.
A hearing on the bill was conducted by Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee.
In testimony on the bill, Alexandra Fraser said that in 2002, as she was getting her Ph.D. at Kansas University, she sold her eggs.
Shortly afterward she said she became seriously ill with a torsioned ovary and then five years later received a breast cancer diagnosis that required a double mastectomy.
The complications of selling her eggs are the only irregular conditions in her health history, she said. “I believe that selling my eggs contributed to my breast cancer,” Fraser said.
Dr. David Pauls, a physician from Manhattan, said the data collection will help provide better information on the long-term health effects of egg donation.
“With the data collected here, answers to some of the concerns raised regarding the safety of egg donation can be addressed in a more definitive manner, which can only enhance patient safety,” Pauls said.
But fertility clinics and the Kansas University Medical School opposed the legislation.
Dr. David Grainger, professor of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at KU School of Medicine-Wichita, said the bill could provide public access to personal and private information of infertility patients.
While the bill claims confidentiality in one section, it authorizes the release of data for law enforcement purposes, he noted. It also authorizes the release of data to public and private entities for statistical research after removing identifying information.
Dr. Barbara Atkinson, executive vice chancellor at KU Medical Center, said the bill would create considerable implementation costs for physicians and clinics “without any apparent benefit to patients.”
Thomas Witt, chair of the Kansas Equality Coalition, objected to the provisions requiring fertility clinics to report the marital status of patients, whether male or female, and whether the clinic offers fertility services to “same-sex couples.”
He said that could lead to discrimination practices by setting up a mechanism for tracking and reporting gay and lesbian Kansans to state agencies.