Republican Senator Stops Law to Protect IVF

Republican senator blocks bill protecting IVF

Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi halted the progression of a bill on Wednesday aimed at safeguarding access to in vitro fertilization (IVF).

The legislation, put forth by Senator Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat from Illinois, was presented for consideration under unanimous consent, which implies that any single senator could impede its passage. The proposed bill sought to establish federal protections for IVF.

A recent ruling by the Alabama State Supreme Court declared that embryos conceived through IVF should be recognized as children. This decision has sparked concerns among many medical professionals and families regarding the potential decrease in the availability of IVF services, as individuals could potentially face legal action for discarding embryos.

Often, embryos are discarded during the IVF process due to genetic abnormalities or when patients decide not to utilize them.

Republican Senator Stops Law to Protect IVF
Republican Senator Stops Law to Protect IVF (Credits: KKTV)

Since the court ruling, politicians from both major parties have voiced their support for safeguarding IVF.

Duckworth, who utilized IVF to conceive her two daughters, criticized the Alabama ruling, stating it portrays women and their doctors as criminals and throws IVF access into disarray as individuals grapple with the possibility of facing legal repercussions for attempting to start a family. She characterized it as a “nightmarish blend of hypocrisy and misogyny.”

Hyde-Smith, in her objection, asserted that the Alabama ruling did not prohibit IVF, nor had any state done so. She argued that the bill under consideration contained numerous contentious provisions extending beyond ensuring legal access to IVF.

Several Republican lawmakers, who maintain beliefs such as life commencing at conception or advocate for granting embryos or fetuses the full rights of individuals, have been compelled to clarify their stance on IVF. IVF, traditionally, had not been a partisan issue.

In Alabama, legislators have been urgently seeking solutions to safeguard IVF practices following the state Supreme Court’s ruling.

Democrats have seized upon this issue politically, using it to criticize Republicans on abortion, an issue that has been detrimental to the GOP in past elections, especially after conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022.

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts remarked on Wednesday, “This has always been about conservative politicians controlling women’s bodies. This has been Donald Trump and the Republicans’ plan all along, and the opposition to Sen. Duckworth’s proposal today shows that Republicans are doubling down against reproductive freedom.

They are coming for medication abortion, they are coming for birth control, and they are even coming for prenatal care. Make no mistake.”