IVF:  Fix it and Fast!

You can’t read any news this past week without tripping over “end of times” alarm bells from Democrats that Republicans are outlawing IVF. 

Most Americans will believe Democrats when faced with these headlines:

“Republicans Block Senate Bill to Protect Nationwide Access IVF Treatment” (AP) 

“Senate Republican Blocks Bill to Protect I.V.F. Treatment” (NY Times)

Then there’s the Bill Sponsor, Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois remarking on the floor of the Senate:

“Donald Trump is the one who brags about taking down Roe v. Wade. Donald Trump is the one who acts as if that’s something to be proud of. So while it may now be convenient for him to claim he had nothing to do with what happened in Alabama, we know the truth: IVF is at risk because of him.”1

It’s the gift that won’t stop giving to Vice President Kamala Harris as she circles the US on her “Fight for Reproductive Freedom” Tour. (Below in Savannah, GA this month):

Misleading Media Reports 

Let’s take a closer look. Shall we?

First, it’s interesting how some in the media are rightly reporting “Senate Republican” but many including the AP are reporting “Republican Senators” blocked the bill. Can you spot the difference? 

Several news outlets reported correctly that it was ONE senator that blocked the bill while others incorrectly put an “s” on the end as if many Republican Senators voted to block the bill. Nevada Democrat Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, one of the bill Sponsors, doubled down on this characterization when she recast the vote as “yet another chance for anti-choice Republicans to erode women’s rights in this country.”2

More about Politics than Protecting Women?

Democrat Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and Democrat Senator Patty Murray of Washington “set up the IVF showdown” to create just this type of political fervor.3

They called for a “unanimous consent” vote ostensibly to pass the bill. The “unanimous consent” procedure allows any one senator to prevent a bill from passing and moving to the House.

If passing the bill was your goal, why choose a path that would allow it to be tanked by a single vote? 

Does this make any sense considering these same Senators failed to pass the very same bill in 2022?

Perhaps the answer is found in the memo of the House Majority PAC, a leading pro-Democrat fund. Last Friday, they released a statement saying they would guarantee that vulnerable GOP lawmakers’ lack of support for the bill “will be used against them” in “competitive House districts across the country this fall.”4

Let’s Check in With Mississippi Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith who Voted Against the Bill

Why did Sen. Hyde-Smith refuse to vote for the IVF bill? Well, she explains that the law was overly broad and could have unanticipated consequences. 

Let’s see for ourselves.

The definition of IVF in the bill says it encompasses “all treatments or procedures which include the handling of human oocytes or embryos, including in vitro fertilization, gamete intrafallopian transfer, zygote intrafallopian transfer, and such other specific technologies as the Secretary may include in this definition, after making public any proposed definition in such manner as to facilitate comment from any person (including any Federal or other public agency).” Read the law for yourself here.

The definition allows the Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services, a Biden appointee, to add other “technologies” to the definition of IVF. Could “procedures” that “handle” the termination of embryos from the womb be added…after public comment, of course?

The law also provides for the right (irrespective of ability to pay) to access such treatments. Would this law create a mandate on private insurers or Tricare or Medicaid-insured families to cover IVF treatments?

The law also specifically supersedes the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 2000bb et seq.). How would this impact Catholic healthcare providers?

So many questions…so few answers.

And then there’s the little publicized statement by Sen. Hyde-Smith that she supports access to IVF!

“I support the ability for mothers and fathers to have total access to IVF and bringing new life into the world. I also believe human life should be protected.” – Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi

Let’s Head to Alabama…Where this All Started

Let’s now head to Alabama, the red state which started this uproar when their state Supreme Court declared that frozen embryos are children.5

After their Supreme Court Ruling placed many Alabama families and physicians in a state of limbo, their state legislature worked very quickly to pass a bill to protect IVF.6 Yes, you read that right. Alabama has already passed a law protecting access to IVF.

Here is US Senator Katie Britt of Alabama explaining her position (shown here with WLR members): 

“Make no mistake — defending life and ensuring continued access to IVF services for loving parents are not mutually exclusive.” 


What do Trump and Haley say about IVF?

The two leading Republican candidates for President have made it clear that they support access to IVF.

Here is Donald Trump: “Under my leadership, the Republican Party will always support the creation of strong, thriving, healthy American families…Like the OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of Americans, including the VAST MAJORITY of Republicans, Conservatives, Christians and Pro-Life Americans, I strongly support the availability of IVF for couples who are trying to have a precious baby.”

And Nikki Haley, who used reproductive assistance to conceive herself, explains: “The decision of what happens to those embryos should be strictly between the parents the doctor. No one else.” And again, “We don’t want fertility treatments to shut down.”

The NRSC Supports IVF

Finally, let’s check in the with GOP. A memo from Jason Thielman, the Executive Director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the campaign arm of Senate Republicans, urged the party’s candidates to “clearly and concisely reject efforts by the government to restrict I.V.F.” and to “align with the public’s overwhelming support for I.V.F. and fertility treatments.” 7

“There are zero Republican Senate candidates who support efforts to restrict access to fertility treatments.” – NRSC


Its Simple, America: Republicans Support IVF

What Women Lead Right can clarify is that the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Republican Senator who blocked the IVF Bill, a Republican Senator from the state whose Supreme Court began this debate (Alabama) and the two Republican Presidential candidates all agree on one thing: They Support Access to IVF.

It’s time to fix it and fast!

WLR calls for the enactment of legislation to protect access to IVF as soon as possible.

The Democrats and the media are spinning this issue into votes like Rumpelstiltskin spun gold from straw.

  1. https://www.duckworth.senate.gov/news/press-releases/despite-claiming-to-support-ivf-senate-republicans-block-duckworth-bill-to-protect-ivf-access-nationwide#:~:text=Leading%20a%20group%20of%20Senate,to%20access%20IVF%20for%20all ↩︎
  2. https://georgiarecorder.com/2024/02/29/u-s-senate-republican-blocks-legislation-protecting-in-vitro-fertilization/ ↩︎
  3. https://www.politico.com/news/2024/02/27/senate-democrats-ivf-tammy-duckworth-00143535 ↩︎
  4. https://www.thehousemajoritypac.com/news/memo-vulnerable-house-republicans-put-ivf-and-fertility-treatments-at-risk ↩︎
  5. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2024/02/20/alabama-supreme-court-frozen-embryos-ruling-ivf/72662533007/ ↩︎
  6. https://www.reuters.com/world/us/republican-controlled-alabama-house-passes-bill-protect-ivf-2024-02-29/ ↩︎
  7. https://static01.nyt.com/newsgraphics/documenttools/783662215552db84/1bd4d1a7-full.pdf ↩︎

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