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Democrats propose bill to defend IVF, slam 'Republican attacks on reproductive health care'

Senator Tammy Duckworth invitro fertilization IVF assisted reproductive technology Representative Susan Wild
Renee Bouchard/U.S. Senate Photographic Studio; Shutterstock; Susan Wild for Congress

Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Rep. Susan Wild have introduced the Access to Family Building Act, which would protect IVF treatment in the U.S.

As Republicans pass restrictions on abortion and gender-affirming health care across the United States, Democratic legislators are introducing a bill to protect access to in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and other assisted reproductive technology (ART) services.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and U.S. Rep. Susan Wild of Pennsylvania announced the legislation Thursday, which builds on the previously introduced Right to Build Families Actto expand protections to the treatments. Duckworth, who said she "wouldn’t have [her] beautiful baby girls" without IVF, said that the proposed bill will protect against "Republicans’ escalating attacks on reproductive healthcare."

“Since the Supreme Court threw out Roe v. Wade, our nation has seen a wave of Republican-led states not only enacting strict abortion bans that severely limit their residents’ right to access basic reproductive care — but also pushing proposals that would jeopardize access to IVF and other assisted reproductive technologies that millions of Americans need to start or grow their families,”Duckworth said in a press release.

Republican lawmakers in several states have proposed legislation restricting access to ART. In one leaked audio recording, a leading anti-abortion group instructed state legislators to avoid discussing IVF and contraception for now, but that restrictions should be revisited in a few years.

Beyond guaranteeing access to IVF and ART services, the Access to Family Building Act would also ensure the right for an individual's use or disposition of their reproductive genetic materials, as well as grant them and healthcare providers in states with limited ART access the ability to sue. The legislation would also allow the Department of Justice to pursue civil action against any state, government official, individual, or entity who attempts to violate the law or restrict the care in any way.

“I have witnessed firsthand the heartbreak of women struggling to conceive and the strain expensive assisted reproductive treatment can have on them and their families,”Wild said in the release. “The last thing the government should do is make life harder on these women by imposing restrictions on the care they can receive."

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Ryan Adamczeski

Ryan is a staff writer at the Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel 'Someone Else's Stars', and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.
Ryan is a staff writer at the Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel 'Someone Else's Stars', and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.