IVF, Abortion: GOP Faces New and Continuing 2024 Challenges

Credits: Toronto Star

Republicans are scrambling to distance themselves from a recent Alabama Supreme Court ruling that posed a threat to in vitro fertilization (IVF) programs, realizing that the decision might be too extreme even within their own party.

Despite their efforts, the GOP finds itself vulnerable on an issue that Democrats plan to exploit in the upcoming election year, which is anticipated to be highly significant.

The Alabama Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos created through IVF are considered children under state law, a decision that raises legal questions and potential repercussions for the destruction of such embryos.

GOP Law Maker (Credits: WFXR)

The GOP’s vulnerability on this issue is exacerbated by the fact that several House Republicans, including Rep. Michelle Steel of California, Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, and Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, have supported a bill stating that life begins at conception, with no exemption for IVF.

The “Life at Conception Act” has garnered 125 Republican cosponsors in this Congress. Democrats see abortion as a key issue in the upcoming election, especially after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

They are now looking to expand the conversation to include related reproductive rights issues such as IVF treatments, miscarriage care, and birth control to exploit Republican vulnerabilities. Even Republicans who expressed support for IVF after the Alabama ruling haven’t explicitly disagreed with the court’s decision.

To address these concerns, Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois plans to bring her bill, which aims to federally protect IVF and other fertility treatments, to the Senate floor. The legislation challenges Republicans to show genuine support for IVF after their public expressions of backing for the treatment.

California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s super PAC is launching a campaign TV ad in Tennessee, criticizing Republicans for attempting to make “abortion trafficking” illegal in the state.

This move is part of a broader strategy to counteract Republican efforts related to abortion in multiple states, including Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Alabama. Despite GOP losses in the 2022 midterms, Republicans have not abandoned the abortion issue for the 2024 election.

Former President Donald Trump, a key figure in the party, has reportedly expressed support for a national ban on abortion at 16 weeks with some exceptions. This reflects the pressure Republicans face from their financial supporters to articulate a clear stance on abortion.

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