July 12, 2018

Duckworth: Next Supreme Court Justice Could Prevent Women Like Me From Starting Families


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), a combat Veteran and mother of two daughters, today highlighted just how impactful the decisions of the next Supreme Court Justice could be—not only for working Americans and Americans with pre-existing conditions, but for all American women including those, like the Senator, who rely on IVF and other assistive reproductive technologies to start and grow their families. At a press conference on Capitol Hill with U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Tina Smith (D-MN) as well as representatives from Planned Parenthood and NARAL, Duckworth spoke about her own experiences with IVF and how in the absence of Roe v. Wade, women like her across the country could be unable to start a family. Photos of the Senator at today’s press conference are available here and video is available here.

The Senator’s remarks as delivered follow:

The stakes for this Supreme Court nomination could not be any higher. Whoever replaces Justice Kennedy will play a critical role in the lives of workers, of Americans with pre-existing conditions and of all Americans for generations to come.

But today I’m here to talk about women such as myself who use assistive reproductive technology to have children. Women who perhaps struggled with infertility for years or decades, families who tried so hard to have their children and, finally, through the miracle of IVF were able to have children.

If Roe v. Wade were overturned, the protections provided by Roe v. Wade against things like personhood amendments, personhood bills, would have disappeared. That means that my fertility doctors would have been committing a crime by helping me start a family.

You see, if a fertilized egg is a person, then you run into all sorts of risks in terms of birth control, IUDs would become illegal, many fertility treatments would become illegal, and I would not be able to have either of my beautiful children that I struggled so hard for over a decade to conceive.

We can’t confirm just anyone. Who we confirm won’t just have decision-making power over whether women like me are able to start and grow their families, it will affect women all across this nation. We just can’t rush this decision.

We cannot allow President Trump to pursue his goal of, in his own words, overturning Roe v. Wade. We need to make sure that the next Supreme Court Justice will protect the Constitutional rights of all women and allow all the families like mine seeking to start a family the ability to have precious children like I have with Maile and Abigail.