NATIONAL NEWS

Republicans block Senate bill to protect nationwide access to IVF treatments

Feb 28, 2024, 4:43 PM | Updated: 4:56 pm

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., center, speaks about a bill to establish federal protections for IVF ...

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., center, speaks about a bill to establish federal protections for IVF as, from left, Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., listen during a press event on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

(AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans have blocked legislation that would protect access to in vitro fertilization, objecting to a vote on the issue Wednesday even after widespread backlash to a recent ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court that threatens the practice.

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, a Mississippi Republican, objected to a request for a vote by Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., who used IVF treatments to have her two children after struggling with years of infertility. Duckworth’s bill would establish a federal right to the treatments as the Alabama ruling has upended fertility care in the state and families who had already started the process face heartbreak and uncertainty.

Several clinics in the state announced they were pausing IVF services as they sort out last week’s ruling, which said that frozen embryos can be considered children under state law. The court said that three Alabama couples who lost frozen embryos during an accident at a storage facility could sue the fertility clinic and hospital for the wrongful death of a minor child.

Facing backlash over IVF ruling, Alabama lawmakers look for a fix

Democrats have immediately seized on the election-year ruling, warning that other states could follow Alabama’s lead and that other rights could be threatened as well in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade and the federal right to an abortion in 2022. Congress passed similar legislation in 2022 that would protect the federal right to same-sex and interracial marriages.

“Mark my words, if we don’t act now, it will only get worse,” Duckworth said.

 

Post by @senduckworth
View on Threads

 

Abortion opponents have pushed laws in at least 15 states based on the idea that a fetus should have the same rights as a person.
Hyde-Smith defended the Alabama Supreme Court decision that found frozen embryos can be considered children under state law.

Republicans widely hold the stance that the federal government should not interfere with state-level decisions on reproductive care after the Dobbs v. Jackson Supreme Court decision in 2022 left decisions on abortion restrictions up to states.

“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,” Hyde-Smith said.

At the same time, Alabama lawmakers are scrambling to find ways to protect the treatments. And former President Donald Trump, the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination, said he would “strongly support the availability of IVF.” Trump called on lawmakers in Alabama to preserve access to the treatment.

Many GOP lawmakers also reinforced their support for IVF services.

Soon after the decision, Alabama Sen. Katie Britt made calls to fellow Republicans, including Trump, to argue for the importance of supporting the treatments, emphasizing that they are pro-life and pro-family, according to a person familiar with the calls.

In a statement after the ruling, Britt said that “defending life and ensuring continued access to IVF services for loving parents are not mutually exclusive.”

Other Republicans agreed. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, one of the more vocal opponents of abortion in the Senate, said he supports IVF and believes it is “entirely life affirming.” Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall, a former obstetrician, said he’d referred patients for IVF treatments for 25 years in his practice. “We are the pro-family party, and there’s nothing more pro-family than helping couples have a baby,” Marshall said.

Still, this is the second time Republicans have blocked Duckworth’s bill. By Bringing it up again, Democrats said they are challenging GOP senators to display real support for IVF access after many this week issued statements criticizing the Alabama ruling. Democrats held the Senate floor for 45 minutes Wednesday with a series of speeches deriding the overturn of Roe v. Wade.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Tuesday that Republicans who have denounced the Alabama ruling “are like the arsonist who set a house on fire and say, why is it burning?”

For Duckworth, the bill holds deep personal significance. After she was seriously injured while piloting a Black Hawk helicopter in Iraq, she became an amputee and was only able to have her own children, ages 5 and 9, through IVF.

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

She called her infertility “one of the most heartbreaking struggles of my life. My miscarriage more painful than any wound I ever earned on the battlefield.”


Associated Press writer Kim Chandler contributed from Montgomery, Ala.

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

FILE: GRID Alternatives employees Tony Chang (L) and Sal Miranda install no-cost solar panels on th...

Alexa St. John and Will Weissert

Biden is marking Earth Day by announcing $7 billion in federal solar power grants

President Joe Biden is marking Earth Day by announcing $7 billion in federal grants for residential solar projects serving 900,000-plus households in low- and middle-income communities.

42 minutes ago

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 18: Students and pro-Palestinian activists face police as they gather ou...

Nick Perry and Dave Collins

Columbia cancels in-person classes and Yale protesters are arrested as Mideast war tensions grow

Columbia University has canceled in-person classes and police have arrested dozens of students at Yale University as tensions on U.S. college campuses continue to grow.

1 hour ago

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 19: Former U.S. President Donald Trump exits the courtroom for the day a...

Michael R. Sisak, Jennifer Peltz, Eric Tucker and Jake Offenhartz

Prosecutors will make history with opening statements in Trump’s hush money criminal case

For the first time in history, prosecutors will present a criminal case against a former American president to a jury Monday.

3 hours ago

This image released by A24 shows Kirsten Dunst in a scene from "Civil War." (A24 via AP)...

Jake Coyle, The Associated Press

‘Civil War’ continues box-office campaign at No. 1

“Civil War,” Alex Garland’s ominous American dystopia, remained the top film in theaters in its second week of release, according to studio estimates Sunday.

14 hours ago

FILE - The Lyrid meteor shower is seen over Burg on the Baltic Sea island of Fehmarn off Germany, F...

Christina Larson, The Associated Press

The Lyrid meteor shower peaks this weekend, but it may be hard to see it

The Lyrid meteor shower is underway. But with a nearly full moon in the sky during the peak, it might be tough to see clearly.

14 hours ago

FILE - The Universal Studios Hollywood officially reopens to the public at 25% capacity with COVID-...

Associated Press

15 people injured when tram collides with guardrail at Universal Studios theme park near Los Angeles

More than a dozen people suffered mostly minor injuries when a tram used for tours crashed into a railing at Universal Studios Hollywood near Los Angeles, authorities and the company said.

16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Republicans block Senate bill to protect nationwide access to IVF treatments