Protecting life in a time of war

J Assist Reprod Genet. 2022 Mar;39(3):555-557. doi: 10.1007/s10815-022-02463-7. Epub 2022 Mar 28.


Despite centuries of lessons from history, war endures. Across Earth, during nearly every year from the beginning of the twentieth century to present day, over 30 wars have been fought resulting in 187 million casualties, excluding the most recent conflict, which is the impetus for this essay (Timeline of 20th and 21st century wars). We are, sadly, a war-mongering people. The word "war" word infiltrates our vernacular, e.g., the war on poverty, on drugs, on cancer, on COVID, and, apropos, on terror. How did rational approaches to disagreement and conflict evade the world's progress? Reproductive physicians and scientists are dedicated to safeguard lives and build families. Violence is antithetical to our mission as professionals, and moral integrity as humans. We are deeply concerned for, and stand in unity with, our Ukrainian colleagues-the embryologists, scientists, OBGYN and REI physicians, infertility patients, and all people under siege. Reproductive health services for Ukrainians (as with many other war-torn regions) have collapsed. Deeply disturbing reports have emerged that cite civilian hospitals (including maternity centers) being targeted. Liquid nitrogen supplies are scarce. Pregnant mothers and gestational carriers are at emergent risk of delivering in extremely harsh conditions, cold underground bunkers and refugee queues.

Keywords: ART; Assisted reproductive technologies; Russia; Sanctions; Ukraine; War.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Female
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Mothers
  • Pregnancy
  • Violence
  • Warfare*