The right to conceive and bear children has been protected both in law and in policy. Human society has from its earliest time valued children and defended procreation as a basic right.
Modern health technology offers the possibility of conception to the estimated 2.5 million infertile couples who may wish to have children. For these persons, infertility treatment offers the hope of having children, an activity deemed basic and essential in human society.
In general, the state has been reluctant to directly interfere in the reproductive decisions of individuals. However, the state may act to increase or reduce access to reproductive services in a variety of ways. For example, recent legislation regulating fertility clinics affects the distribution of assisted reproductive technology (ART) in the United States. The purpose of this paper is to describe this legislation, project its probable effects on the distribution of ART services, and analyze these effects based on distributive theories of justice.