Global cultural and socioeconomic factors that influence access to assisted reproductive technologies Womens Health.(Lond.Engl), 2009, 5, 4, 351-358, England.
Assisted reproductive technology (ART) is the most successful treatment for the 9% of people at reproductive age who suffer with infertility, but only a small percentage of those needing ART actually access it. Access varies greatly internationally owing to religious, cultural and political factors, probably the most important factor being each society's perspective on the moral status of the embryo. Economic factors, the nature of the healthcare system and public funding affect access both among and within countries. Regulations and guidelines are highly variable, but critical, in determining access and types of services. Cross-border travel for reproductive care is not uncommon. In the future, better public funding of ART, technological improvements, lower cost and slow international harmonization with fewer differences in ART services will probably increase access significantly.