- US Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Rep. Susan Wild (D-Pa.) introduced a bill on Thursday, called the Access to Family Building Act, to make access to in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other 'assisted reproductive technology' a 'statutory right.'1
- If passed, the law would permit people across the country to retain all their genetic material used during fertility care and allow the Justice Department to take legal action against any state that tries to limit access to fertility treatments.2
- Duckworth cited SCOTUS' overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022 and the subsequent abortion laws passed by Republican states as her reason for the proposed measure.2
- During IVF, which consists of fertilizing eggs with sperm in a lab and then inserting the embryo into a woman's uterus, some embryos are discarded, which may currently violate certain states' laws against terminating pregnancies.1
- According to some experts, the 2022 SCOTUS decision doesn't necessarily pertain to IVF, though some of the language in certain state laws may cover it. That same year, Republicans blocked a unanimous consent proposal that would have codified a right to birth control and IVF.3
- This comes as an estimated 2.3% of babies born every year in the US are conceived via assisted reproductive technology, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).1
- Democratic narrative, as provided by Duckworth. After Republicans stripped women of their right to determine when they want to build families, it's more important than ever to protect their access to how they do it. Millions of Americans rely on IVF — one of the more affordable procedures — and other technologies to aid them in the pursuit of having children. If the GOP continues down its restrictive path, it'll eventually take even more control over women's bodies. Building families when and how you want must be defended.
- Republican narrative, as provided by National Review. On top of the very obvious ethical concerns of IVF — such as abortion and the freezing of embryos — there are many other reasons for concern. First and foremost, prioritizing the use of and right to IVF has led scientists away from researching the underlying causes of infertility. Another secret Democrats probably want hidden is that a majority of women drop out of IVF treatment due to the psychological toll it takes on them. Instead of trying to overhaul biology, there must be work on repairing the natural systems that don't require risky experiments.