President Biden vows to protect right to IVF following GOP attacks - TAI News
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President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with his reproductive rights task force to mark the 51st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, in the State Dining Room of the White House, Monday, Jan. 22, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden promised at a June 15 campaign event that he would protect the right of Americans to access in vitro fertilization. Biden’s statement came just two days after Senate Republicans blocked legislation that would have added a right to IVF to federal law.

Biden spoke about the issue during a discussion with former President Barack Obama and comedian Jimmy Kimmel at a fundraiser held at the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles.

“After the — the decision that overruled Roe v. Wade, the Dobbs decision, you had Clarence Thomas talking about the fact that there are going to be other things we should reconsider, including in — in vitro fertilization, including contraception, including all these things,” Biden said, according to a transcript released by the White House. “Not on my watch. Not on my watch.”

In 2022 the Supreme Court’s conservative majority decided in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that patients seeking reproductive health did not have a right to privacy. That decision overturned the constitutional right to abortion access affirmed in the landmark Roe v. Wade case.

Some experts say that this decision opened the door to legislation that could be used to ban the use of IVF, in which technicians fertilize eggs extracted from a patient outside of the body, the fertilized eggs are implanted in a person’s uterus, and embryos that are not utilized are frozen or discarded.

According to the Yale School of Medicine, in 2018 IVF procedures played a role in 2% of all births in the United States. There are more than 500,000 IVF-related deliveries around the world each year.

The public overwhelmingly supports access to IVF. In a May 1-23 poll conducted by Gallup, 82% of respondents said IVF was “morally acceptable,” while only 10% said it was “morally wrong,” with another 8% offering no opinion.

Illinois Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth introduced the Right to IVF Act on June 3. The legislation would enshrine the right to IVF treatment in federal law, protecting patients seeking care and medical providers who assist them.

On June 13, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer made a motion to proceed on the legislation, which required 60 votes for passage. The measure failed with 48 votes in favor, 47 votes against the bill, and 5 members not voting.

Michigan Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow, both Democrats, voted for the bill.

All but two of the votes in favor of passage were cast by Democrats, along with those of West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, an independent, and Maine Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican. All of the votes opposing the bill were from Republicans.

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