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Sen. Britt’s bill protecting IVF introduced in the House

Sen. Katie Britt’s bill to deny Medicaid funding to any states that ban IVF was recently introduced in the House.

Sen. Katie Britt Official U.S. Senate photo by Rebecca Hamme
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On June 27, Representatives Scott Perry, R-Pennsylvania, and Nancy Mace, R-South Carolina, introduced the IVF Protection Act in the House of Representatives.

First introduced in the Senate by Alabama Senator Katie Britt and Texas Senator Ted Cruz in May, the bill threatens Medicaid funding for any states that ban IVF. Each state would also be required to “ensure that no unit of local government in the State prohibits such services.”

When announcing the introduction of the bill to the House, Mace said that “when we say we are pro-life, we have to mean it.”

Passing the IVF Protection Act, she continued, would be “a significant step in ensuring that women’s reproductive health is protected from extreme measures while balancing conscience protections and necessary health and safety standard.”

In a public statement, Britt said she “[appreciates] Representatives Perry and Mace leading this bicameral effort to ensure continued nationwide IVF access.”

The effort may now be bicameral but it is not bipartisan. Democrats have rallied behind the similarly named but very different Right to IVF Act.

While Britt’s IVF Protection Act threatens states’ Medicaid funding but doesn’t actually prevent states from banning IVF, the Right to IVF Act would establish a “statutory right” to fertility treatments. The U.S. Attorney General, affected individuals, and healthcare providers would all be able to file civil actions against states that ban IVF or other protected fertility treatments.

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Britt also continued criticizing Democrats for how they have attempted to protect IVF, saying that “while Democrats prioritize scaring families, I’m proud to join my Republican colleagues in fighting for families.”

In early June, Britt accused Congressional Democrats of engaging in a “Summer of Scare Tactics” for trying to force votes on the Right to Contraception Act and the Right to IVF Act.

In her speech on the Senate floor, Britt stated that she “[wanted] to make it clear that Republicans support continued nationwide access to IVF.”

A large majority of Republicans in the Alabama state legislature did vote to protect IVF clinics from legal liability. However, as APR reported on, the sentiment isn’t universal: the leader of the conservative Southern Baptist Convention openly praised the Alabama Supreme Court’s decision threatening IVF access, and the convention passed a resolution attacking IVF.

And with the Republican and Democratic proposals to protect IVF so far apart, and control of Congress split between the two parties, it is unlikely that either bill will be passed this session.

Though, as members of both parties seem to believe protecting IVF from state bans is a priority, it is far more likely a bill resembling either the Right to IVF Act or the IVF Protection Act will be passed next year if one party controls both the House and Senate.

Chance Phillips is a reporting intern at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected].

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