Republicans Oppose Senate Bill to Preserve IVF Access Nationwide

Senate Republicans, who objected to a vote on the matter on Wednesday despite strong opposition to a recent verdict by the Alabama Supreme Court that puts the process in jeopardy, have rejected legislation that would safeguard access to in vitro fertilization.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., who struggled with infertility for years before using IVF treatments to birth her two daughters, requested a vote, but Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, a Republican from Mississippi, objected. Duckworth’s measure would create a federal entitlement to the therapies because the Alabama verdict has completely changed the state’s approach to fertility care, leaving families who have already begun the process with confusion and heartache.

After a verdict last week that stated that frozen embryos may be deemed children under state law, several clinics in the state announced they were suspending IVF procedures. The court allowed three couples from Alabama to sue the hospital and fertility clinic for the wrongful death of a minor child after they lost frozen embryos in an accident at a storage facility.

After the U.S. Supreme Court decided to overturn Roe v. Wade and the federal right to an abortion in 2022, Democrats jumped on the election-year verdict, warning that other states would follow Alabama’s example and that other rights might also be in jeopardy. Similar laws protecting the federal right to same-sex and multiracial marriages were passed by Congress in 2022.

Duckworth warned, “If we don’t do something now, it will only get worse.”

The argument that a fetus should have the same rights as an adult person has been used by opponents of abortion to support legislation in at least 15 states.

Hyde-Smith supported the ruling of the Alabama Supreme Court that concluded that, in accordance with state law, frozen embryos may be treated as children. After the Dobbs v. Jackson Supreme Court ruling in 2022, which gave states the final say over abortion regulations, a majority of Republicans have maintained that the federal government should not meddle in state-level decisions about reproductive care.

“I am in favor of men and moms having complete access to IVF and starting a family. In addition, I think that human life ought to be preserved,” Hyde-Smith stated.

Legislators in Alabama are working feverishly to find a means to preserve the treatments. Additionally, the front-runner for the Republican presidential candidacy, former President Donald Trump, declared that he would “strongly support the availability of IVF.” Trump urged Alabama lawmakers to protect patients’ access to the medication.

Numerous Republican lawmakers reaffirmed their endorsement of IVF procedures.

Sen. Katie Britt of Alabama called fellow Republicans, including Trump, shortly after the decision was made, stressing the therapies’ pro-life and pro-family qualities. A person familiar with the discussions said that Britt argued persuasively for the necessity of supporting the treatments.

“Defending life and ensuring continued access to IVF services for loving parents are not mutually exclusive,” Britt said in a statement following the decision.

Other Republicans concurred. One of the Senate’s most outspoken opponents of abortion, Texas senator Ted Cruz, stated that he favors IVF and thinks it is “entirely life affirming.” Former doctor and Kansas senator Roger Marshall claimed to have suggested people for IVF procedures for 25 years. “As the pro-family party, we believe that nothing is more pro-family than assisting couples in becoming parents,” Marshall declared.

Nevertheless, Republicans have now blocked Duckworth’s bill twice. Democrats claimed that by bringing it up once more, they are pressuring Republican senators to show genuine support for access to IVF after numerous of them this week released remarks denouncing the Alabama decision. On Wednesday, Democrats occupied the Senate floor for forty-five minutes, delivering remarks against the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Republicans who have criticized the Alabama judgment, according to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, “are like the arsonist who sets a house on fire and says, why is it burning?” Schumer remarked on Tuesday.

Duckworth is deeply personally invested in the bill. She became an amputee after suffering severe injuries while operating a Black Hawk chopper in Iraq, and she was only able to have her own children—who are now 5 and 9—through in vitro fertilization.

On the Senate floor, Duckworth stated, “I was only able to get pregnant through the miracle of IVF after a decade struggling with infertility after my service in Iraq.” “IVF is the reason I get to experience the chaos and the beauty, the stress and the joy, that is motherhood.”

“One of the most heartbreaking struggles of my life,” she said of her infertility. My miscarriage was more agonizing than any combat injury I have ever sustained.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *