Dueling IVF bills take center stage as parties butt heads on reproductive tech regulation

Two Republicans are pushing new legislation to protect access to in vitro fertilization (IVF) across the country just months after an Alabama Supreme Court ruling determined frozen embryos are legally people and made those who destroy them liable.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, joined with Sen. Katie Britt, R-Ala., to introduce the bill that would enshrine protections for the fertility procedure into law.

“As Republican senators from Texas and Alabama, @SenKatieBritt and I are united on many issues, including the need to protect both life and access to IVF treatments, which many families rely on to have children,” Cruz wrote on X.

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Sens. Ted Cruz and Katie Britt introduced a bill to protect IVF. (Getty Images)

The GOP lawmakers penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Sunday afternoon, titled, “We’ll Protect Both Life and IVF.”

In February, an Alabama Supreme Court ruling made national headlines when it deemed frozen embryos are people and, thereby, allowed for parties to be held liable for their destruction. The ruling sent shock waves through the state’s fertility industry, which saw several clinics cease conducting IVF procedures, which can incur discarded or destroyed embryos.

The state’s situation was quickly pointed to by Democrats as evidence of what might occur across the country if Republicans were in charge, likening IVF to the next target after abortion.

“While the Alabama Legislature after the court’s decision promptly reiterated that IVF is protected, federal legislation would eliminate any ambiguity that might arise from future state-level judicial interpretations,” Cruz explained.

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The Alabama court ruled embryos were considered people in February. (AP Photo/Kim Chandler)

As the senator referenced, Alabama promptly passed a bill granting immunity to doctors, clinics and health care staff that facilitate IVF procedures.

The new bill would tie IVF legality to federal Medicaid funding, disallowing states from receiving the latter if they ban the practice.

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IVF is a commonly used procedure to assist couples in becoming pregnant. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., sought to have her own IVF protection bill considered again in the wake of the Alabama ruling, but it was blocked by her Republican colleagues. GOP senators were not in favor of the expansive nature of Duckworth’s measure, citing concerns over the broad authorization for the use of reproductive technologies and the lack of regulation.

Duckworth did not provide comment to Fox News Digital.

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Sen. Tammy Duckworth introduced a separate IVF bill. (Getty Images)

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., chair of the Senate Pro-Life Caucus, objected to Duckworth’s most recent request for unanimous consent to consider her bill, saying at the time, “The bill before us today is a vast overreach that is full of poison pills that go way too far.”

Under Cruz and Britt’s bill, no facilities or states would be compelled to provide IVF services. Additionally, it would allow for states to administer certain health and safety standards for the procedure.

“As a mom, I know firsthand that there is no greater blessing than our children, and IVF helps families across our nation experience the joyous miracle of life, grow, and thrive. This commonsense piece of legislation affirms both life and liberty — family and freedom, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to enact it into law,” Britt said in a statement.

Julia Johnson is a politics writer for Fox News Digital and Fox Business, leading coverage of the U.S. Senate. She was previously a politics reporter at the Washington Examiner. 

Follow Julia’s reporting on X at @JuliaaJohnson_ and send tips to [email protected].

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