Home Politics Senate Republicans introduce legislation to legalize IVF treatment nationally

Senate Republicans introduce legislation to legalize IVF treatment nationally


(The Hill) – Republican Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Katie Britt (Ala.) announced Monday they are introducing legislation to protect legal access to in vitro fertilization (IVF) nationwide in the wake of an Alabama Supreme Court ruling that embryos created by the treatment are children.

Cruz and Britt said they will unveil the bill to clear up the “confusion and misinformation” spread by the ruling, which has alarmed prospective parents who worry they may lose access to the procedure and the chance to have children.

“To address these concerns, we will introduce a bill on Monday to ensure IVF access is legally protected nationwide. The legislation would require, as a condition of receiving federal Medicaid funding, that states don’t prohibit IVF,” Cruz and Britt wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.

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Cruz and Britt added that their goal “is to make sure that any family’s path to bringing a child into the world isn’t compromised by preventable legal confusion.”

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed a state law in March protecting IVF patients and providers from liability for the loss of embryos, but Cruz and Britt say federal legislation would clear up lingering uncertainty.

“Our bill doesn’t impede states from setting up health and safety standards to govern IVF, nor does it compel any individual or organization to provide IVF against its wishes or beliefs. It simply ensures that access to IVF is fully protected by federal law, as there is currently no such federal law in place,” the senators wrote.

Cruz and Britt defended IVF treatments as “profoundly pro-family” and pointed out that 2 percent of births in the United States result from the process.

Democrats, led by Sens. Tammy Duckworth (Ill.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Tammy Baldwin (Wis.) and Patty Murray (Wash.), have their own legislation to protect access to IVF, but Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde Smith (Miss.) has blocked efforts to pass it by unanimous consent on the Senate floor.

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