GOP Faces Backlash from Pro-Life Advocates Over IVF Policies

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( – Some voters in the anti-abortion movement are beginning to turn on Republicans who are supporting legislation that protects in vitro fertilization (IVF), which they believe legalizes murder by allowing the destruction of embryos. Federal and state lawmakers are receiving backlash from some of the largest and most influential pro-life groups.

The debate was sparked in February following a ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court declaring that frozen embryos are considered children and covered under the same legal protections. The ruling came in response to lawsuits brought against clinicians by multiple families after a wandering patient accidentally destroyed their frozen embryos. The court’s decision then raised concerns amongst families seeking IVF and providers about the liability of the process, which normally entails destroying embryos with genetic defects or after they are no longer needed by the family.

In response, several lawmakers have introduced legislation to protect IVF, which anti-abortion activists argue grants clinicians a “license to kill” and would result in thousands of deaths. They have resoundingly opposed legislation passed by the Alabama House and Senate that would protect IVF providers from civil and criminal charges if embryos are destroyed, and are putting pressure on Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey to veto the bill, but she signed it despite the pressure.

President of a pro-life group called Live Action, Lila Rose, responded to Ivey’s decision by maintaining that “life begins at the moment of fertilization” and politicians who “enact laws” allowing “the callous killing of… preborn children” because they were produced via IVF “cannot call themselves pro-life.”

Similar legislation protecting IVF is being proposed in Mississippi, which opponents are calling a “Democrat-based bill” backed by Republicans. Lawmakers in Missouri and Kentucky have also introduced similar laws and have received opposition from local anti-abortion groups. Republican lawmakers defending the protections, such as Missouri state Rep. Bill Allen, argue that IVF is inherently pro-life because it facilitates bringing more children into the world.

The battle also rages at the federal level. Legislation was recently introduced to enshrine IVF into law but Senate Republicans ultimately struck it down. The GOP is torn on the issue and may have a hard time straddling both sides of the abortion debate in a way that pleases voters on both sides of the aisle as the presidential election draws nearer and the issue remains one of the most divisive in post-Roe v. Wade America.

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