Over the weekend, the New York Times ran a piece on the costs of the twin pregnances and births that often result from in-vitro fertilization. Sixty percent of twins are born prematurely and it's estimated, the article says, that caring for preemie babies costs the country $26 billion a year - including $1 billion for IVF newborns. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine has made efforts to discourage multiple births. But for a variety of reasons (all outlined in the article) some physicians still choose to implant patients with more than one embryo, hence increasing the liklihood of twins or higher-order multiples.
It's an interesting article, and one that is likely to provoke a lot of debate. (I bet some parents of twins - IVF-created or otherwise - would take issue with their children being considered a cost to society. And given the great expense of fertility treatments, I'm sure many patients are okay with the risk of twins if it means their chance of becoming pregnant is upped.) Indeed, the Times' website includes a Room for Debate feature in which experts discuss whether the U.S. should impose stricter regulations on I.V.F. procedures.
The article can be found here.