Duckworth says she’ll keep working to preserve IVF despite Senate setback

A Republican senator on Wednesday derailed a bill sponsored by U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth intended to protect access to in vitro fertilization care.

The Hoffman Estates Democrat, backed by colleagues, said it was crucial to pass the measure following the Alabama Supreme Court’s decision that frozen embryos should be considered children.

The ruling has sent shock waves across the nation for women undergoing or contemplating IVF and caused several Alabama clinics to pause services, The Associated Press reported.

Duckworth, a veteran who lost both her legs in the Iraq War, used IVF treatments to conceive her two daughters. She had warned the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade in 2022 was a precursor to curtailing other reproductive rights.

“I’m heartbroken that I was right and disappointed that they blocked our efforts tonight, but I will never stop working to protect every American from being criminalized just for trying to start or grow their family through IVF,” Duckworth said on the Senate floor.

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, a Mississippi Republican, blocked the bill, saying it was a “poison pill” that could legalize cloning among other objections.

“I support the ability for mothers and fathers to have total access to IVF and bringing new life into the world. I also believe human life should be protected,” Hyde-Smith said.

Duckworth said the legislation simply “protects the right of individuals to seek assisted reproductive technology without fear of being prosecuted for receiving that technology. It preserves the right of physicians to provide that reproductive technology without fear of being prosecuted.”

Other Democratic senators read comments from devastated Alabama women whose IVF treatments had abruptly ceased in the wake of the court’s Feb. 16 ruling.

The state Supreme Court’s decision involved several Alabama couples whose frozen embryos were accidentally destroyed at an IVF clinic.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.