Four things to know about the Senate’s struggle over IVF

The Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate has been busy attempting to federally declare certain reproduction-related issues as “rights,” including a “right to contraception,” which Republicans resisted on several grounds. In addition, a bill was introduced in an attempt to declare in vitro fertilization (IVF) a “right.” This plan was rejected with nearly unanimous opposition from Republicans, according to USA Today.

However, Republicans who voted against The Right to IVF Act aren’t necessarily opposed to protecting IVF. In fact, they had their own proposed bill to protect it — one which was rejected by Democrats the day prior.

The Right to IVF Act, which was rejected by the GOP, consists of four bills and was sponsored by Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D), who used IVF to conceive, Sen. Patty Murray (D), and Sen. Cory Booker (D). The act would have blocked the states that enact laws surrounding IVF from receiving funding through the State Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant program. It would also have created a right to receive or provide IVF services.

The act states, “No Federal funds may be made available through the State Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant program under title V of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 701 et seq.) to a State (or any political subdivision thereof) if the State (or political subdivision) prohibits a licensed physician from performing the medical procedure of in vitro fertilization (IVF) for an individual in possession of a diagnosis by a licensed physician stating that such individual is experiencing medical hardship in conceiving a child.”

Here are four things to know about IVF and this struggle in the Senate:

1. IVF destroys embryos at a higher rate than abortion.

During the process of IVF, embryos are destroyed at a higher rate than those who are killed during abortions.

IVF is carried out 2.5 million times annually around the world. But out of those 2.5 million attempts, only 500,000 babies are actually born as a result of the procedure, according to research published in Reproductive Biomedicine Online. This means that each year, if just one embryo is created during each IVF cycle (the average is seven), at least 80% — at least two million — of the human beings created through IVF either die during the process, are frozen indefinitely, or are destroyed.

In comparison, according to the World Health Organization, there are 73 million induced abortions each year around the world and 29% of all pregnancies end in induced abortion. This means human beings are being destroyed at a higher rate by IVF than they are by abortion.

2. No state is attempting to ban IVF.

In its reporting, USA Today attempted to blame the overturning of Roe v. Wade for recent fears over the prohibition of IVF. The news outlet falsely reported, “The Alabama Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that embryos used in IVF are children, a decision that came after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022.” This is inaccurate.

What the Alabama Supreme Court determined was that frozen embryos created during IVF can be considered persons under the state’s Wrongful Death of a Minor statute, specifically. The ruling was in support of parents whose frozen embryos had been destroyed during a mishap at the fertility clinic. It set a precedent for parents to be allowed to file wrongful death lawsuits and sue for damages when embryos stored in a lab are destroyed without parental permission.

However, abortion advocates immediately claimed that the ruling put IVF in jeopardy across the country.

3. There is wide support for IVF, even among those who say they’re “pro-life.”

Most Senate Republicans voted against The Right to IVF Act, though Senators Susan Collins (R) and Lisa Murkowski (R) — who typically vote with Democrats in favor of abortion — voted in favor of it. Senate Republicans signed a statement that was released ahead of Thursday’s vote, calling the act part of a “summer of scare tactics” from Democrats.

It’s “a partisan campaign of false fearmongering intended to mislead and confuse the American people. In vitro fertilization is legal and available in every state across our nation,” they wrote. “We strongly support continued nationwide access to IVF, which has allowed millions of aspiring parents to start and grow their families.”

Yes, despite the death rate of IVF, Republicans seem to broadly support access to it, with some even portraying IVF as “pro-life,” simply because its stated intent is to create babies… and because some have personally utilized reproductive technologies to conceive their own children.

Nikki Haley, former UN ambassador and former South Carolina governor, used fertility treatments to create her children, including artificial insemination. Though she says she considers herself pro-life, she spoke out in support of the IVF process. “IVF is pro life,” she said. “My children are blessings because of fertility procedures. Many parents would love to have children. We should not be banning those procedures we should be encouraging them.”

Pro-lifers do not disagree that Haley’s children are blessings. However, Katy Faust, founder of the children’s rights organization Them Before Us, explained pro-life opposition to IVF on X, asking Haley, “Is [IVF] pro-life for the 93-97% of the babies who die in the process?”


Allie Beth Stuckey also replied to Haley on X, stating, “While we have compassion for those who struggle with infertility, that’s no justification for IVF. Inherent in IVF is the eugenic selection of and destruction of embryos. It causes a cascade of ethical issues…”

Each round of IVF carries just a 20-30% chance of successful birth. Couples can create up to 20 embryos to increase their odds of carrying a baby to term — but most couples don’t want 20 children. So, what happens to those that aren’t selected?

The answer: Some embryos created during IVF are destroyed, while others simply don’t survive. Those that are destroyed are killed for having certain traits such as cystic fibrosis or other genetic conditions that parents are trying to weed out by using IVF. Others are killed after being donated to scientific research for experimentation, while others have died in storage containers that malfunctioned. In some cases, babies created through IVF have been aborted through selective reduction when the woman becomes pregnant with more babies than she wanted.

Just as children born alive through IVF are valuable human beings and blessings, so are the children who did not survive. Each of them was a human being created to fulfill the desires of adults only to have their lives lost or purposefully destroyed in the process for not meeting standards or for being ‘extra.’

Haley’s comment is a departure from her previous statement made following the Alabama Supreme Court ruling. At that time she said, “Embryos, to me, are babies.” She added, “I had artificial insemination. That’s how I had my son. One thing is to save sperm or to save eggs. But when you talk about an embryo, you are talking about, to me, that’s a life. So, I do see where that’s coming from when they talk about that.”

4. ‘All 100 senators support IVF,’ claims Cruz.

The IVF Protection Act, sponsored by Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Katie Britt, was struck down on Wednesday by an objection from Sen. Patty Murray (D), who said it was “a PR tool, plain and simple.” That proposed bill would have allowed Medicaid funds to be withheld from states that banned IVF. No state has banned IVF, and no state is currently attempting to ban IVF. However, in contrast to the Democrat-sponsored bill, the Republican-sponsored bill “does not compel any person or organization to provide such services, and permits states to ensure appropriate health and safety standards regarding the practice of IVF.”

Cruz, who sponsored the failed Republican-led pro-IVF bill, responded to his bill’s failure, stating, “To the best of my knowledge, all 100 senators in this body support IVF. We invite our colleagues in the Senate from both sides of the aisle to join together in supporting this crucial legislation.”

The DOJ put a pro-life grandmother in jail for protesting the killing of preborn children. Please take 30-seconds to TELL CONGRESS: STOP THE DOJ FROM TARGETING PRO-LIFE AMERICANS.

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