Republican Senator Stops Bill to Safeguard IVF

( – Following a controversial ruling in Alabama last month, the battle over in vitro fertilization (IVF) continues, and the latest development comes at the federal level where Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi stopped a Democrat-proposed bill that would secure access to the practice.

The measure was sponsored by Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, who presented it to the Senate floor for consideration. In order to pass, it required unanimous consent, meaning only one vote against its passage was enough to block it. The bill would’ve provided federal protections for access to IVF.

Duckworth’s proposed bill came in response to a recent Alabama Supreme Court ruling that declared embryos produced using IVF to be considered “children” and covered under the same legal protections. The ruling was in response to a case brought to the court by three couples whose frozen embryos were accidentally destroyed by a wandering patient who gained access to the cryogenic room where the embryos were stored.

The ruling immediately sparked concerns among families and doctors that IVF services would begin to dry up as the ruling makes it illegal to destroy embryos. The IVF process often involves discarding embryos with genetic abnormalities or if the patient decides they don’t require them anymore.

Since the Alabama Supreme Court decision, a few IVF providers have already suspended their services voluntarily due to the uncertainty about the court decision.

It seems Duckworth took the ruling personally because she had both of her daughters using IVF, and is concerned others may not have the same opportunity. She said the decision paints women like her, and their doctors, “as criminals” and sows “chaos” into the IVF industry. She accused Republicans of enacting “dystopian policies” that will stop Americans from starting families while claiming “to be defending family values.”

Hyde-Smith clarified in her objection to Duckworth’s proposal that the decision in Alabama didn’t ban IVF and that no state has banned the practice. The Mississippi senator described the bill as “a vast overreach.”

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