Johnson dismisses need for IVF legislation as GOP wrestles with reproductive issues

Johnson dismisses need for IVF legislation as GOP wrestles with reproductive issues - Politics - News

The IVF Debate: A Political Dilemma for Congress as Some Republicans Push for Legislation while Others Insist on State’s Rights

Speaker Mike Johnson, a Louisiana Republican, expressed his viewpoint that Congress does not have a role to play when it comes to regulating In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) legislation on Thursday. His stance contradicts the wishes of some House Republican Conference members who have been advocating for federal intervention following the Alabama Supreme Court’s controversial ruling on frozen embryos last month.

During an interview at The Greenbrier, West Virginia, where the annual Republican issues conference was being held, Johnson emphasized that he supports access to IVF but believes it needs to be handled “ethically and well” at the state level.

The Republican Party, according to Johnson, is pro-access to IVF, which he considers an essential aspect of their pro-family agenda. Later in the day, Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America President Marjorie Dannenfelser was scheduled to speak about this topic at the retreat.

Meanwhile, Vice President Kamala Harris plans to visit a Planned Parenthood clinic in Minnesota on Thursday, emphasizing the Democrats’ stance on reproductive rights. This high-level visit marks a significant contrast between how the two parties are dealing with the issue as they prepare for November elections.

The Alabama Supreme Court ruling on frozen embryos has put many Republicans in an uncomfortable political position, leading to two Republican-led efforts in the House. One is a non-binding resolution by Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer of Oregon, and another by Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina, both advocating for IVF accessibility.

Mace has introduced a non-binding resolution to express support for in vitro fertilization and condemn any judicial rulings or legislation that might restrict access to fertility treatments. She is trying to persuade Johnson to bring her bill to the floor and is even willing to make changes for it to pass.

Chavez-DeRemer’s effort, on the other hand, is largely symbolic and aims to “make it clear that IVF needs to be protected,” although it does not actually enshrine protections for IVF into law. She is calling on state legislatures to take action and support IVF access.

Democratic Rep. Susan Wild of Pennsylvania, meanwhile, has introduced legislation that would prohibit restrictions on access to assisted reproductive technology. One Republican, Moderate Rep. Marc Molinaro of New York, has signed onto this bill.

Last week, California GOP Rep. Michelle Steel removed herself as a co-sponsor of the Life at Conception Act due to concerns about her support for IVF and faced backlash.

Efforts in the Democrat-controlled Senate to protect IVF have also struggled to advance, with bills being blocked by Republicans using unanimous consent, a process that allows any senator to object and halt legislation.

This complex political landscape showcases the challenges Congress faces when dealing with IVF regulations, with some members advocating for federal intervention while others insist on maintaining state autonomy.