Senate Republicans Halt Bill To Codify IVF Access

- July 12, 2024
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The Police Department has jailed a 77-year-old homeowner on suspicion of murder. The arrest took place not too long after the man fatally wounded a would-be burglar breaking into his home.

Note: at the time this video was published, the homeowner was in jail but had not yet been formally charged.

Various news sources and Colion Noir

It happened just before 6 pm on Monday evening..

Legislation to codify in vitro fertilization () was defeated by Republicans on Thursday. The bill required 60 votes to advance but fell well short of the threshold.

Only two Republicans, of Maine and of Alaska, joined their Democratic colleagues in support of the bill.

The fight comes as Democrats hope to put Republicans on the defensive over reproductive rights coming down the homestretch to Election Day.

The Hill has more:

The Right to IVF Act, sponsored by Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and (D-N.J.), is a package of four bills that would both establish a nationwide right to IVF and other assisted reproductive technology, as well as lower the costs of IVF treatment to make it more accessible.

Galina Fomina, CC BY 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Democrats want to drive a wedge between Republicans and put them on the record opposing those efforts, especially as the GOP struggles with how to message its stance on reproductive rights in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision overturning .

Polls indicate that a majority of Americans, including white evangelicals, support policies promoting access to fertility treatments, including IVF. This widespread approval often transcends political divides, as many perceive reproductive assistance as an essential tool to help couples start families.

However, recent debates around IVF have intersected with broader discussions, such as when the Alabama Supreme Court raised concerns about the moral implications of assisted reproductive technologies in a controversial ruling.

“Protecting IVF should be the easiest ‘yes' vote the Senate has taken all year. Republicans cannot say they are pro-family and then vote against protecting IVF,” Senate Majority Leader (D-N.Y.) said, chiding his GOP colleagues from the well of the Senate.

Senate Democrats, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Thursday's vote comes one week after Republicans blocked a similar bill from Democrats to guarantee the right to contraception.

Senate Republicans dismissed both as election-year stunts, voicing concerns about unfunded mandates and potential impacts on religious freedom.

On Wednesday, the GOP attempted to preempt Democrats by bringing their own version of an IVF bill to the floor from Sens. (R-Texas) and  (R-Ala.) but Sen. Murray blocked it unilaterally.

Murray explained her decision, as noted by The Hill:

The bill “explicitly allows states to enact restrictions and burdensome requirements that would force IVF clinics to close their doors,” Murray told reporters Wednesday. “That bill is nothing but a PR stunt, providing cover for Republicans to keep somehow pretending they're not going to control women's bodies.”

The legislation would bar states from receiving Medicaid funding if they implement a ban on IVF. Cruz and Britt also said the legislation would ensure IVF is fully protected by federal law, though it does not create a right to IVF.

Britt accused the Democrats of fearmongering after the effort went down in flames.

“Sadly, they aren't interested in a bill to actually protect IVF access and figuring out how we could get that to become law. That wouldn't advance their true goal, which is about partisan electoral politics,” she said.

Every Republican in the Senate then signed a pledge stating that they “strongly support” uninterrupted nationwide access to IVF.

ZEISS Microscopy from Germany, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Critics argue that they are being careful to avoid acknowledging politically inconvenient concerns from the most impassioned pro-life activists. IVF clinics often create more embryos than needed to increase the chances of a successful outcome. Extra embryos might be frozen for future use, discarded or used for research. Many who believe life begins at conception oppose discarding or destroying these embryos.

Thursday's vote comes a day after the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the country, voted to oppose IVF. The nonbinding resolution urges Southern Baptists to view embryos as human beings.

While there is no unified national effort against IVF yet, the shifting political and legal landscape post Roe v. Wade suggests that could change.

This is a story. Please check back for updates.

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