GOP claims they support IVF but their “life begins at conception” bill could decimate it nationwide

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) on Fox News.
House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) on Fox News. Photo: Screenshot

125 House Republicans are co-sponsoring a bill declaring that human life begins at conception – and it does not contain an exception for the embryos created for IVF. ‘

Folks are especially concerned about the bill after the Alabama Supreme Court’s chilling decision that state laws protecting “unborn children” also apply to those “located outside of a biological uterus.” The decision opens the door for doctors in the state to be charged with murder if they mishandle or destroy an embryo. The court acknowledged that its ruling effectively ends IVF treatment in Alabama.

The federal Life at Conception Act states that “the terms ‘human person’ and ‘human being’ include each and every member of the species homo sapiens at all stages of life, including the moment of fertilization, cloning, or other moment at which an individual member of the human species comes into being.” It does qualify that “nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorize the prosecution of any woman for the death of her unborn child.”

It does not, however, include an exception for IVF, despite the fact that a 2017 version of the bill included one. As such, it appears that the exception was intentionally removed.

Ultra-conservative Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), who is virulently anti-LGBTQ+, is among the Republican sponsors of the House legislation, along with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO).

Republicans like Johnson have put out statements supporting IVF in the wake of the Alabama ruling. Despite pushing for decisions like that of the state’s Supreme Court, the party is now reportedly worried it will lose favor with the hordes of voters who support expanded IVF access – including many who consider themselves pro-life.

A memo to the Senate GOP obtained by Huffington Post, for example, urged lawmakers to “clearly state your support for IVF and fertility-related services as blessings for those seeking to have children,” and “publicly oppose any efforts to restrict access to IVF and other fertility treatments, framing such opposition as a defense of family values and individual freedom.”

Even Donald Trump put out a statement on Truth Social urging the Alabama legislature to “act quickly to find an immediate solution to preserve the availability of IVF in Alabama.”

Both Republicans and Democrats in Alabama are reportedly scrambling to pass legislation that clarifies the Supreme Court decision and protects IVF services, according to CNN.

And a statement from Speaker Johnson claimed, “I believe the life of every single child has inestimable dignity and value. That is why I support IVF treatment, which has been a blessing for many moms and dads who have struggled with fertility.”

MSNBC host Chris Hayes called out Johnson’s hypocrisy on X, writing, “He is, at this very moment a co-sponsor on a bill that has no carve out for IVF and would, if signed into law, NATIONALIZE the Alabama ruling.”

A statement from the office of Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said that he has “no intention of using the recent Alabama Supreme Court decision as a basis for prosecuting IVF families or providers.”

Nevertheless, the consequences have already begun. At least three providers of fertility healthcare in Alabama, including the largest healthcare provider in the state, have halted IVF treatment in response to the ruling.

The decision leaves LGBTQ+ couples, single people, and those who struggle with fertility issues with dwindling access to the most common method of assisted reproduction.

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