Jacobs introduces legislation designed to bring more transparency to fertility industry
Last week, Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) introduced Steven’s Law to bring transparency and needed safeguards to the fertility industry. The bill is named in honor of Steven Gunner, who tragically passed away at the age of 27 due to an opioid overdose following a long battle with addiction and schizophrenia. His parents learned after his passing the donor used to conceive him also struggled with addiction and had been diagnosed with schizophrenia.
“Today, I am proud to announce I have introduced Steven’s Law, a bill that will bring needed safety regulations to the fertility industry. After the passing of their son, Laura and David Gunner discovered that the donor they had used to conceive him had failed to disclose pertinent medical information in his pre-donation screening and was diagnosed with schizophrenia and later died from substance abuse,” Jacobs said. “This legislation is common sense and will ensure other families around the country will not have to endure the same pain and suffering of the Gunners. I want to truly commend Laura and David for their strength in the face of such adversity - their advocacy and fight will ensure thousands of other families are protected.”
“This legislation is simple and straightforward and will ensure that common sense protections are put in place in a widely unregulated industry. We are working to ensure that any potential parent has the right to see all available information about a potential donor to help them make the most informed decision possible,” Laura and David Gunner said. “We want to thank Congressman Jacobs for his work to bring attention to our son Steven’s story and to put forth legislation in his honor to protect other families from enduring such pain. It is our great hope this legislation will gain momentum and the support needed to pass quickly.”
Steven’s Law would require sperm banks to collect information from donors on diagnosed medical conditions including genetic disorders, mental illnesses, intellectual disabilities, familial medical conditions, and sexually transmitted diseases. Sperm banks would also be required to disclose certain information to participants including the donor's anonymized medical records, a summary of the information in such medical records, and any medical information the sperm bank was unable to obtain.