February 27, 2024

Duckworth, trying to compel suddenly pro-IVF Republicans, pushes protections bill

Source: Crain's Chicago Business


U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth said she will bring her bill to protect a federal right of access to in vitro fertilization to the U.S. Senate floor on Feb. 28.

In the wake of concerns raised by the Alabama Supreme Court’s decision last week declaring that embryos used in IVF were children, Duckworth said she hoped Republicans would not block a move to adopt the Access to Family Building Act by unanimous consent.

“Let’s see tomorrow, when the rubber hits the road, whether they show up and show support for IVF or whether they actively block American families from being able to start families through IVF,” Duckworth said at a Capitol Hill news conference.

She alluded to comments from some Republicans suddenly lending support to IVF.

“In this nightmarish moment, it’s nowhere near enough to send out a vaguely worded tweet suggesting that you care about women’s rights despite a voting record to the contrary,” Duckworth said.

The Illinois senator and U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., introduced the bill in 2022, and reintroduced it this year after Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., blocked unanimous consent in December. The bill would provide federal protection for IVF, including overriding any state restrictions.

Duckworth said she would favor a roll call vote, but Murray said at the press conference that such a vote was unlikely given everything currently on the Senate’s agenda.

Duckworth, as she often does, invoked a personal story involving her infertility after her military service and she and her husband’s use of IVF to bring about the births of their two daughters, Abigail and Maile.

“My girls are my everything, but I likely would never been able to have them if I had not had access to basic reproductive rights that women, up until recently, had been depending on for decades,” Duckworth said.

By:  Mark Walsh