Devastating Supreme Court Decision Strips Women of the Right to Choose

The Supreme Court today released a devastating abortion decision that will negatively impact millions of people and families across America. The Supreme Court's decision in the case challenging Mississippi’s abortion ban, Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, puts the lives of our sisters, daughters, nieces, granddaughters, friends, and colleagues at risk. It sends a strong message that women are not worthy of equal rights.

While we are still analyzing the decision, our initial read is that this is a disaster for people who can become pregnant. By allowing states to limit the ability of medical professionals to provide safe abortion options and care, this decision puts pregnant people at tremendous risk. People seeking to end a pregnancy will still be able to find a way to do it; it just might put their life at unnecessary risk to do so.

To be clear: people will die as a result of this decision, just as they did in the days before the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision confirming American women’s right to control their own bodies. It is both unacceptable and unbelievable that we find ourselves going back to those times.  

For the past half-century, this was the promise to women in the United States:

  • Women have the right to decide when and whether to become mothers.
  • Women can choose to finish school, move up in a career, and have a family when ready.
  • Women can follow their dreams wherever they lead.
  • And women have the freedom to make their own decisions about their bodies, their own health care, and their own futures. 

But with today’s Supreme Court decision, the government and politicians will now be allowed to make the most personal decisions about women’s bodies and pregnancies for them.

Today’s generation will be the first one in 50 years that has lost the right to determine their own futures.

As we reported earlier when the contents of today’s decision were leaked in May, the ruling declares that the United States Constitution does not provide a protected right to abortion, Roe v. Wade is overturned, and that if any such right to an abortion is to be provided under the law, it should be provided by the legislature (state and/or federal).

How will making abortion illegal impact in vitro fertilization?

But even though today’s decision is focused on women’s right to abortion, it will have a far more extensive impact on American women and families. Conservative politicians are already threatening to outlaw forms of birth control that disrupt conception, such as IUDs. There are states that will, without a doubt, enact laws to criminalize all abortion and attempt to go even further, in some cases enacting laws that give the unborn embryo full legal rights as a person.

There is concern that today’s decision will impact IVF and assisted reproduction, due to the fact that the procedures often produce more embryos that can be used. While it remains to be seen how the battlefield will unfold on this, fertilizing an egg which then develops into an embryo does not automatically guarantee a pregnancy will result. Therefore, we do not anticipate a wholesale expansion of today’s ruling into assisted reproduction, but we must remain vigilant and protect procreative and reproductive freedom in order to ensure access to assisted reproduction remains an option for those who seek it.

There are other parts of the Supreme Court’s ruling that give cause for grave concern—especially in Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion. (Justice Thomas would do away with the entire doctrine of "substantive due process" and overrule Griswold, Lawrence and Obergefell as soon as possible. See pages 118-119 of the 213-page opinion.) The rights we have today will continue to be attacked unless conservative lawmakers are stopped.

Vote to Protect Reproductive Rights

Gaining political power is the only way to meet this challenge. If the Supreme Court is going to leave it up to the legislatures to decide who has control over a woman’s body, then we MUST elect legislators and governors who believe in a woman’s right to choose her own destiny (and who believe in protecting other key civil liberties, such as the right to marriage).

It will take unprecedented political activism to restore what is right.

From a legal perspective, stripping anyone of their rights to control their own body goes against the personal freedom, dignity, and self-determination that our Constitution is supposed to protect, and has protected for decades under Roe. IFLG is part of the broad movement that demands respect for reproductive autonomy, safe medical options for people exercising their reproductive alternatives, and an end to the politicization of healthcare.  

For now, there are still many states where abortion is allowed, and there is still a constitutional right to travel to seek abortion care in other states where it is permissible—despites threats on the Right to prosecute those who do so. Two older cases that discuss the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution and an individual’s right to travel are: Shapiro v. Thompson, 394 U.S. 618 (1969) and U.S. v. Guest, 383 U.S. 745 (1966). Here is a link to a short Cornell Law School article about the right to travel. Related to this is a pre-Roe decision about an abortion clinic in one state advertising in Virginia where abortions were not allowed. The Supreme Court ruled on this in Bigelow v. Virginia, 421 U.S. 809, 95 S.Ct. 2222 (1975). That case not only allowed the advertisements, under the concept of freedom of speech, but made it clear that one state cannot regulate that which is permitted in another state.

We at IFLG are angry, disappointed, and deeply concerned about today’s decision—especially by the reasoning used by justices who seem determined to restrict essential constitutional rights to those originally enjoyed only by those in power, in the scheme of perpetuating the “history and traditions” of the Eighteenth Century.

We will be in touch soon with further analysis of the disturbing implications of this ruling.

In solidarity,

The IFLG Team

Richard Vaughn

Attorney Rich Vaughn is founder and principal of International Fertility Law Group, one of the world’s largest and best-known law firms focused exclusively on assisted reproductive technology, or ART, including in vitro fertilization (IVF), surrogacy, sperm donation or egg donation. Rich is co-author of the book “Developing A Successful Assisted Reproduction Technology Law Practice,” American Bar Association Publishing, 2017.

Peiya Wang
Paralegal (律师助理)

Peiya Wang joined IFLG as a paralegal in 2015, where she manages surrogacy, egg donation and parental establishment cases and provides translation services for many of IFLG’s international clients. Peiya moved to the United States in 2012 to attend Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, receiving a Master of Science degree in Global Studies and International Affairs in 2014. Peiya moved to Los Angeles in 2015, received her paralegal certification from UCLA Extension, and obtained her second Master of Science degree in Legal Studies from Loyola Law School. Peiya relocated back to her hometown, Beijing, China in 2019 and works from IFLG’s Beijing office. When away from the office, Peiya is a dragon boat paddler and a ballroom dancer, where she favors Rumbas and Cha-chas. She is fluent in Mandarin and English.

Luis Sosa

Luis R. Sosa joined IFLG as a paralegal in 2016, where he enjoys pursuing his passion for family and reproductive law. While working toward his bachelor’s degree at Florida International University which he received in 2013, Luis worked as a paralegal and legal assistant for family law litigation firms in Miami and Washington, D.C. As a paralegal and case manager for IFLG, Luis, who is bilingual in English and Spanish, manages surrogacy, egg donation and other reproductive law cases. Luis has worked for IFLG in both Los Angeles as well as San Francisco, and is currently based in Dallas, Texas. In addition to spending time with husband Randy and dog Marty, Luis enjoys being outdoors and appreciating the arts.

Toni Hughes

After receiving her B.S. in Business Management, Toni joined IFLG to pursue her dream of working in the legal field. As a Paralegal with over 10 years of experience in the assisted reproduction technology field, Toni is our Managing Paralegal, responsible for training and managing our paralegal staff. From drafting legal documents to assisting our clients with post-birth matters, Toni embraces the challenge of learning something new in this field each day. Besides spending time with her son, Jordan, Toni enjoys exploring new things, cooking, spending time with family and friends, and serving as a Youth Advisor for “Next Generation.”


Kim has over 30 years of experience in the legal field and has worked exclusively in surrogacy and assisted reproduction law since 1999. Kim is a senior case manager responsible for managing parental establishment cases and interacting with IFLG’s Of Counsel attorneys across the country. With three children of her own, Kim understands the importance of family and finds working in this area of law a rewarding experience.

Rich Vaughn

Attorney Rich Vaughn combined his personal passion as a father of twin boys born via assisted reproductive technology (ART) with more than 20 years of experience in business and technology law to build International Fertility Law Group. Today IFLG is one of the most successful and best-known law firms in the world focused exclusively on fertility law, helping thousands of intended parents through empathetic listening, compassionate guidance, and unmatched legal expertise. As an advocate for reproductive freedom, Rich also contributes his knowledge and time to improving the understanding and practice of ART law, most recently as a founder of and speaker at the first Cambridge University International Surrogacy Symposium held in June 2019, as immediate past chair of the American Bar Association ART Committee, and as a popular presenter to law schools, faculty and advocacy organizations all over the world.

Elizabeth Tamayo

Elizabeth received her Bachelors of Science degree in Criminal Justice from California State University of Los Angeles. Shortly after graduating, she continued her education at the University of California, Los Angeles where she obtained her Paralegal certificate. Elizabeth is fluent in Spanish and has been in the legal field since 2009. She is excited to be a part of the IFLG Team helping families realize their dreams.

Sunny Chien

Sunny joined IFLG as a paralegal in 2017, where she manages surrogacy, egg donation and parental establishment cases for many of IFLG’s international clients. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from California State University of Los Angeles, where she graduated cum laude. Sunny is bilingual in English and Mandarin and has extensive experience as a legal assistant and paralegal at Los Angeles-area law firms. She is excited to be part of the IFLG team. In her spare time, Sunny enjoys spending time with her family and their dog, going to the beach, cooking, and being outdoors.

Los Angeles

5757 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 645

Los Angeles, CA 90036

Phone:  +1 323 331 9343

Email:  info@iflg.net

Website:  www.iflg.net

New York

501 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1900

New York, NY 10017

Phone:  +1 844 400 2016

Email:  info@iflg.net

Website:  www.iflg.net

Molly O'Brien

Fertility law attorney Molly O’Brien began working in the field of assisted reproduction technology (ART) in 2005, at an egg donation agency and a surrogacy agency where she became familiar with all aspects of in-vitro fertilization, egg donation and the financial aspects of surrogacy. Since becoming an attorney in 2011, Molly has drafted and negotiated surrogacy, egg donation, sperm donation embryo donation agreements for hundreds of her clients all over the world.

Phoebe Sadler

Fertility law attorney Phoebe Sadler has a background in family law and has been practicing exclusively in the area of assisted reproduction technology (ART) law since 2018.

Rubina Aslanyan

Rubina has an extensive background in the legal field as a paralegal in Family Law and has worked in surrogacy and assisted reproduction law since 2012. Her area of focus is in managing and assisting clients with surrogacy, egg donation, and parental establishment cases for many of IFLG’s domestic and international clients. During her spare time, Rubina enjoys spending time with her family and dog Bella, traveling and cooking.

Alexander Espinoza
Legal Assistant

Alexander joined IFLG as a legal assistant in 2019, where he manages surrogacy, egg donation and parental establishment cases. Alex is bilingual in English and Spanish and has been in the legal field for 23 years. Alex is excited to join the IFLG team and pursuing his will to help others in the reproductive law process. In his spare time he loves spending time with his family and friends, being outdoors, road trips, loves music and dancing.

Cara Stecker
Senior Paralegal

After receiving her paralegal certificate in 2005, Cara began working in assisted reproductive law. During the fifteen years Cara has worked in this field, she has gained a wide range of experience and knowledge that she uses to help better assist clients and those involved in the assisted reproductive journey. Cara’s primary roles involve managing parental establishment matters and coordination with IFLG’s Of Counsel attorney network, drafting contracts and parental establishment court documents and providing support to other team members. Cara finds great joy in being a small part of a team of caring people who help others achieve their dream of having a family. In her spare time, Cara enjoys spending time with her husband and three children, watching her children play the sports they love, and she enjoys, running, cycling and exploring the outdoors in the sun.

Stephanie Kimble

Stephanie received her BS in History and Political Thought from Concordia University Irvine in 2015 and her Paralegal Certificate from University of San Diego later that same year. She has been working as a Paralegal since 2016 in Family and Reproductive Law. She is excited to be part of International Fertility Law Group working on managing Surrogacy, Egg donation and Parental Establishment Cases.

Trish Pittman
Assistant Financial Coordinator

With more than 20 years of experience in the field of accounting, Trish joined the IFLG team in 2019 as Assistant Financial Coordinator. Her client-facing focus at IFLG is to assist with all client trust accounting. Trish is the mother of two daughters and enjoys spending time teaching and learning new things from them. In her free time, she loves long walks in the park and reading suspense and mystery novels.

Katie Deaquino
Senior Paralegal

Katie is a Senior Paralegal with IFLG and has dedicated over sixteen years to the areas of surrogacy and reproductive law. She received her Paralegal Certificate from Coastline Community College and has worked with some of the top law firms in the assisted reproduction community. Katie is also a commissioned Notary Public. With IFLG, Katie manages Surrogacy, Egg Donation, and Parental Establishment cases and provides support to other IFLG team members. Katie truly enjoys helping others build their families through assisted reproduction and is thankful she has had the rewarding experience of assisting IFLG clients. Katie often spends her free time with her Husband, four young children and her bulldog “Bella”.

Elsa Jimenez
Legal Assistant

Elsa joined IFLG as a Legal Assistant in 2019, bringing more than 35 years of experience working in the legal profession (concentrating in tort and litigation matters). At IFLG she assists surrogates with their surrogacy and parental matters. The oldest of five siblings, born and raised in East Los Angeles to Mexican immigrant parents, Elsa loves “seeing the beauty of families forming” through assisted reproductive technology. She and her husband Carlos have four children and one grandson. Elsa enjoys jazz and ’80s music, being outdoors in nature, collecting teacups and tea pots, and spending time with her close-knit family.