Updated Dec 20, 2022 - Health

Republicans block Dem request to pass bill to protect IVF access

Picture of Tammy Duckworth

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.). Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) on Tuesday blocked a unanimous consent request to pass a bill that would have set federal protections for IVF and other fertility treatments whose future remains uncertain in the post-Roe era.

The big picture: Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), who introduced the legislation, requested to pass it through unanimous consent — meaning the bill would have been considered passed if there were no objections — in response to concerns that abortion restrictions can apply to assisted reproductive technologies.

  • The Right To Build Families Act would have prohibited limiting an individual from seeking or receiving fertility treatments and would have created a federal right to assisted reproductive technology.

Driving the news: This is the second piece of legislation related to reproductive health that has been introduced by Democrats and blocked by Republicans in the aftermath of the June Dobbs decision.

What they’re saying: Americans' ability to build a family "is now in danger for millions of would-be parents across the country," said Duckworth on the Senate floor.

  • The senator reacted to Hyde-Smith's block, tweeting: "The same Republicans who claim to ‘defend family values’ just blocked my bill to protect the right to start a family through IVF."

What's next: Duckworth told Axios last week that she plans to continue to introduce the legislation until it gets passed.

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Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment from Sen. Tammy Duckworth.

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