Republican lawmakers Sen. Ted Cruz and Katie Britt propose legislation to safeguard IVF procedures

On May 20, two conservative Republican senators introduced a bill aimed at safeguarding access to in vitro fertilization (IVF). This comes after a previous attempt by Senate Democrats to protect IVF access failed in February.

On Monday, Senators Katie Britt (R-Ala.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced a new bill called the “IVF Protection Act.” This three-page bill aims to address concerns and provide safeguards for in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures.

“This legislation, which makes perfect sense, reinforces the values of life and freedom, as well as the importance of family and liberty,” expressed Britt in a joint news release with Cruz. Cruz further expressed his pride in collaborating with Britt and acknowledged the incredible impact of IVF, stating that it has provided hope to millions of Americans and has allowed families all over the nation to experience the joy of having children.”

States would lose their eligibility for Medicaid funding if they implement a complete ban on IVF, according to the bill’s provisions. The bill explicitly states that states “shall not prohibit in vitro fertilization services” and mandates that no unit of local government within the state can prohibit such services.

Republicans have been working to establish a unified stance on abortion, particularly in light of a recent ruling by Alabama’s Supreme Court. The court declared that frozen fertilized embryos should be legally recognized as children. In line with this ongoing effort, the bill has been introduced.

The Alabama IVF ruling sparked widespread criticism and concern from civil rights and medical organizations across the country. In response, the Republican-controlled legislature took swift action and passed a bill to protect IVF. Governor Kay Ivey, a pro-life Republican, wasted no time in signing the bill into law.

The Britt-Cruz legislation is an expansion of the actions initiated by Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., in February. Sen. Duckworth introduced a bill to safeguard IVF treatments across the country following the Alabama ruling. However, this bill faced opposition from Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss.

During a television appearance on Monday, Cruz criticized Duckworth’s bill, arguing that it aimed to introduce abortion legislation indirectly. He emphasized that his and Britt’s bill, on the other hand, was specifically created to safeguard in vitro fertilization (IVF). Cruz highlighted a statistic from the bill, which states that 2% of live births in the United States are a result of IVF.

According to Cruz, Duckworth’s IVF bill had a wide scope. He argued that no Republican supported it because it was designed to grant the federal government control over abortion.

According to Cruz, the Alabama ruling caused a great deal of confusion, fear, and misunderstanding. He believes that the diverse range of opinions on abortion is evidence that it should be handled at the state level. This aligns with former President Donald Trump’s stance on the issue, as he has also expressed the belief that abortion should be a state issue.

“The IVF bill should receive strong bipartisan support,” stated the Texas Republican when asked about the potential for his senate colleagues from both sides of the aisle voting in favor of his bill alongside Britt.

In a social media post on Monday afternoon, Cruz accused Democrats and the media of using the Alabama IVF ruling to unfairly target Republicans and criticize their stance on IVF.

According to Cruz, during an interview with NewsMax, all 100 senators are believed to be in support of IVF. This leads him to believe that the bill should receive bipartisan support.

According to Democratic strategist Sawyer Hackett, the bill put forward by Cruz and Britt has two notable drawbacks. Firstly, it fails to safeguard in vitro fertilization (IVF) from potential legal implications stemming from “personhood” laws, as demonstrated by the recent ruling in Alabama. Secondly, the bill explicitly permits states to impose “health and safety standards” for IVF.

“Clearing the air,” stated U.S. Representative Colin Allred, a Democrat from Texas and Ted Cruz’s prospective opponent for the 2024 Senate election. He made this remark during an interview with X on Monday.

“Texas families are at risk of losing access to IVF due to Ted Cruz’s unwavering endorsement of an extreme abortion ban.”

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