Proposes Putting Greater Focus on Using Existing Programs to Promote Restorative Reproductive Medicine

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), chair of the Senate Pro-Life Caucus, will today introduce legislation to support genuine solutions to infertility and empower couples with autonomy over how they build their families.

The Reproductive Empowerment and Support through Optimal Restoration (RESTORE) Act would work within existing federal programs to expand access to restorative reproductive medicine for the nearly 11 percent of women and nine percent of men affected by infertility.  As such, the measure is cost neutral.

“I strongly support treatments such as IVF, which have helped so many families experience the miracle of life.  Healing the actual causes of infertility will only help increase the success rate for couples trying to conceive.  It’s time that we look at paying serious attention helping women and couples affected by infertility by treating the underlying conditions that make it hard, if not impossible, to have a baby,” Hyde-Smith said.

“The RESTORE Act would focus federal resources toward promoting research on the leading causes of infertility, while making information on possible treatments more readily available to the women and men struggling with fertility problems,” the Senator said.  “There is no question how heartbreaking it can be for couples challenged by infertility, and I believe we can do more to help couples trying to conceive get the care they need to understand and proactive treat the underlying conditions that cause infertility,”

U.S. Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.), chair of the Senate Values Action Team, is the lead cosponsor of the RESTORE Act.

“Infertility is one of the most difficult challenges couples can face, and most Americans have either faced or know someone who is facing the difficult journey to have a baby.  IVF is an incredible scientific advancement that allows families to bring life into the world, but IVF is very expensive and shouldn’t be the only option available to families.  The RESTORE Act prioritizes addressing underlying causes of infertility to help families to bring the miracle of life into the world,” said Lankford.

Additional original cosponsors include U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). 

The legislation is intended to bring greater focus on reproductive health conditions such as endometriosis, adenomyosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, uterine fibroids, blocked fallopian tubes, hormone imbalances, hyperprolactinemia, thyroid conditions, ovulation dysfunctions, and other health conditions that are leading causes of infertility and painful menstrual cycles.

The RESTORE Act would:

  • Promote educational tools for women seeking information about reproductive health conditions and restorative reproductive medicine;
  • Provide training opportunities for medical professionals to learn how to better diagnose and treat reproductive health conditions.
  • Direct the Health and Human Service (HHS) Secretary and the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health to conduct data collection and implement ongoing reports to assess the access women have to restorative reproductive medicine and infertility care through proper testing, diagnosis, and treatment of reproductive conditions.
  • Use existing funding opportunities in Title X and HHS Office of Population Affairs to promote medical training for medical students and professionals called to help women struggling with reproductive health conditions and infertility.

Dr. Patrick Yeung, Jr., M.D., a St. Louis-based board-certified gynecologist specializing in endometriosis excision and restorative surgery, supports the legislation, noting that the status quo of offering symptomatic (band-aid) treatment for pain, or IVF (that bypasses the problem) for fertility is not satisfactory for most women.

“Patients with reproductive health conditions, like endometriosis that can lead to infertility and pain, deserve better,” Dr. Yeung said.  “Women deserve support and access to root cause treatments that offer real solutions, and that help patients feel better and have dramatically improved chances for fertility, up to 70 percent in two years.  For endometriosis, restorative surgery - the combining optimal excision and adhesion prevention - can avoid long-term hormonal suppression, can lead to recurring fertility, and can be one-and-done surgery.”

The legislation also contains strong religious and conscience protections to ensure that no hospitals, employees, grantees, contractors, individuals, or entities are required to provide or held liable for refusing to provide restorative reproductive medicine or fertility awareness-based methods.