by: ASRM Office of Public Affairs
Published in ASRM Press Release
Washington, DC - The American Society for Reproductive Medicine announced today that it has filed an amicus curia (friend of the court) brief in the case of Herx v. Diocese Fort Wayne -South Bend. Ms. Emily Herx of Fort Wayne, Indiana is suing the diocese for firing her from her job as a high school literature and language arts teacher after it became known that she suffered from infertility and had used in vitro fertilization in an attempt to overcome her disease and build a family.
In January, the EEOC ruled in favor of Ms. Herx, upholding her claim against the diocese and St. Vincent de Paul School under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and Title I of the American Disabilities Act and sending the case to federal court.
Amicus briefs are commonly used by organizations which are not party to a case, but have expertise that the court might find useful. The ASRM brief focuses on the medical aspects of the case, providing information such as: the incidence of infertility in the United States, how it is treated, how the in vitro fertilization process works and how often it is used.
“First and foremost, we wanted the court to have solid, unbiased information about the medical aspects and treatment of infertility defined as a disease by the World Health Organization. We also felt an obligation to object to a patient being punished for seeking to treat her disease,” said Robert W. Rebar, MD Executive Director of ASRM.