Feb 27, 2024 - Politics

Sen. Tammy Duckworth gets personal in push to protect IVF

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth speaks in Congress.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) is sharing her fertility journey as part of a renewed push for legislation to ensure families have access to procedures like in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Why it matters: An Alabama Supreme Court ruling last week is threatening access to assisted reproductive care, as more states roll back reproductive health care protections after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Catch up quick: The ruling declared that frozen embryos created through IVF are children under state law, and the threat of legal action has already led some fertility clinics to halt operations.

What she's saying: Duckworth, who had her two daughters via IVF, says that under Alabama's ruling, her doctor's decision to discard her non-viable embryos with her consent would've potentially been considered manslaughter or murder.

  • "Basically, Republicans have put the right of a fertilized egg over the right of the woman, and that is not something that I think the American people agree with," Duckworth said Sunday on ABC's "This Week" about the Alabama ruling.

By the numbers: Nearly half of white adults (48%) say they have or know someone who has received fertility treatment, according to Pew, which can include individuals with infertility, individuals seeking to conceive through egg or sperm donors and people who retrieve and freeze their eggs.

What's next: A spokesperson tells Axios Duckworth hopes to encourage lawmakers to pass the bill this week.


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