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Republicans, Pro-Life Advocates Clash Over Court Ruling on IVF

Republicans, Pro-Life Advocates Clash Over Court Ruling on IVF
Source: Guy's and St Thomas Special Care/YouTube

Republicans, Pro-Life Advocates Clash Over Court Ruling on IVF

Source: Nucleus Medical Media/YouTube

Recently, there were heated debates across the political spectrum between Republicans and pro-life advocates. The contesting parties were at odds over a Supreme Court ruling concerning in vitro fertilization (IVF).
The verdict, which labeled frozen embryos as “extrauterine children,” was reversed after the Republican-controlled legislature passed temporary protections for IVF providers. The case has once again brought to light the contentious issues surrounding reproductive rights, medical technology, and the definition of life.

The Origin of the Rift

Source: Tompkins County Republicans/Facebook

The court’s decision stated that frozen embryos are considered children, which has raised concerns about the legality of in vitro fertilization (IVF). IVF is a procedure that helps couples who have trouble having children naturally.
Since the ruling, different groups have been trying to decide what beliefs someone must have to be called a “pro-life advocate.”

Political Influence

Source: BBC News/YouTube

Politico says conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation and the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission have been quietly working in the background since the Alabama decision.
They want to sway Republican officials by raising concerns about certain aspects of IVF procedures. These groups are not pushing for a complete ban on IVF but are advocating for additional restrictions, like prohibiting pre-implantation genetic testing and limiting the number of embryos that can be created.

Religious Influence

Source: Bethel Mennonite Church/YouTube

They argue that pre-implantation genetic testing allows parents to discriminate on which embryos to keep based on things like gender, disabilities like Down Syndrome, or other traits. Conservatives also plan to appeal to conservative Christian groups and their leaders to oppose IVF.
They argue that it destroys human life. However, most evangelical groups haven’t made firm decisions about limiting fertility treatments like IVF.

Definition of IVF

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In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a medical treatment designed to assist couples who struggle to have a baby naturally. During IVF, the egg and sperm are combined outside the body, typically in a test tube.
This method helps couples overcome fertility issues that may prevent them from conceiving naturally. Unfortunately, Conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation believe that people should have moral concerns about fertility treatments such as IVF.

Policy Recommendations

Source: NBC News/ YouTube

The conservative organizations are frustrated with Republican lawmakers’ recent move to make laws that grant protection to IVF. Lawmakers have also been stepping back from, sometimes even stopping, bills that would give embryos the same rights as people.
These were policies they had backed before, but they changed their minds after the Alabama ruling caused a big debate across the country about whether IVF is legal and ethical.

The Conservatives Moral Consideration

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Conservative groups such as the Heritage Foundation believe that individuals should have moral concerns regarding fertility treatments like IVF.
“We’re at a junction where we could see a similar generational shift — where people begin to consider reproductive technologies not as a separate but as a part of their cohesive pro-life framework,” said Emma Waters, a senior research associate at Heritage Foundation.

They Claim IVF Destroys Embryos

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In a March article, Waters wrote for the Heritage Foundation, which outlined some concerns with IVF treatments.
“Many likely do not know that IVF treatments in the United States rely on the routine destruction of embryonic life, either intentionally or through neglect. Clinics often create a surplus of embryos to test them for the “best” genetic profile or to select embryos based on sex or physical features. Clinics routinely destroy unwanted embryos and may freeze some for later use,” Waters wrote.

Life Begins at Conception

Source: Little Bellies Ultrasound & Pregnancy Spa/ YouTube

IVF poses a challenge to a belief among conservatives and pro-life advocates that “life begins at conception.” While this belief is often used to argue against abortion, it’s sometimes overlooked when it comes to IVF.
Former Vice President Mike Pence, a staunch supporter of the pro-life movement and opponent of abortion, has voiced support for fertility treatments like IV. He stated that they “deserve the protection of the law.” Pence and his wife have personally experienced the challenges of infertility and have benefited from fertility treatments.

Former President Donald Trump’s Stance on IVF

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Following the Alabama ruling, Donald Trump expressed strong support for IVF. “Like the OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of Americans, including the VAST MAJORITY of Republicans, Conservatives, Christians, and Pro-Life Americans, I strongly support the availability of IVF for couples who are trying to have a precious baby,” he said.
Recent polling indicated that the majority of Americans support IVF. A March CBS News/YouGov poll found that 86 percent of Americans support keeping IVF legal, while only 14 percent want to make it illegal.

The Principle of Restorative Reproduction

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Opponents of IVF promote a type of fertility treatment known as “restorative reproduction.” They view IVF and similar fertility technologies as efforts to bypass the natural reproductive process.
Additionally, they argue that relying on these technologies discourages people from addressing the underlying causes of infertility. Restorative reproductive treatments involve medical and surgical procedures that fully cooperate with the body’s natural reproductive system.

The Bill Has Been Blocked

Source: C-SPAN/YouTube

Despite widespread support for IVF among Republicans, a bill in the United States Senate aimed at protecting IVF was ultimately blocked due to opposition from Republican lawmakers. If passed, the bill would have provided federal protection for IVF procedures nationwide.
Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith from Alabama expressed her opposition to the bill, stating, “The bill before us today is a vast overreach that is full of poison pills that go way too far.”

But There’s Hope

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The IVF issue is causing division among conservatives, Republicans, and advocacy groups. Democrats see this division as an opportunity to gain support in the upcoming election.
They plan to capitalize on the fact that the majority of the American public, including Republicans, support IVF. Democrats hope to use this to criticize their political opponents for not standing up to protect IVF.