Last week, Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) introduced Steven’s law to bring transparency and necessary precautions 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 after a long battle with addiction and schizophrenia. His parents learned after his death that the donor, who was previously pregnant, also struggled with addiction and was diagnosed with schizophrenia.
“I am proud today to announce that I have introduced Steven’s Law, a bill that will bring the necessary safety regulations to the fertility industry. “After the death of their son, Laura and David Gunner discovered that the donor they used to conceive him had failed to disclose relevant medical information in his donation screening and had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and later died of drug abuse.” Jacobs said. “This legislation is common sense and will ensure that other families across the country do not have to endure the same pain and suffering of the Gunners. I sincerely want to commend Laura and David for their strength in the face of such adversity – their advocacy and struggle will ensure that thousands of other families are protected. ”
“This legislation is simple and straightforward and will ensure that common sense protection is introduced in a widely unregulated industry. We work 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, ”said Laura and David Gunner. “We would like to thank Congressman Jacobs for his work in drawing attention to our son Steven’s story and in proposing legislation in his honor to protect other families from such pain. It is our great hope that this legislation will gain momentum and the support needed to implement it quickly. ”
Steven’s Law will require sperm banks to collect information from donors about diagnosed medical conditions, including genetic disorders, mental illness, intellectual disabilities, familial medical conditions, and sexually transmitted diseases. Sperm banks will also be required to disclose certain information to participants, including the donor’s anonymous medical records, a summary of the information in such medical records, and any medical information that the sperm bank could not obtain.
The full text of the legislation can be found here.