Republicans block Dem request to pass bill to protect IVF access
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.
- The Right to Contraception Act, which looked to federally protect birth control use, passed the House but was blocked by Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) in July.
- Some Republican lawmakers suggested at the time that the bill was not necessary because contraception was not directly under threat.
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.
- Democrats look to protect fertility treatments in post-Roe era
- Republicans' thorny path ahead on fertility policy
Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment from Sen. Tammy Duckworth.