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June 10, 2024 04:09 PM UTC

Hickenlooper Tees Up Fight Over IVF After Senate Republicans Kill Contraception Bill

  • by: Colorado Pols

Senator John Hickenlooper (D).

Here’s Sen. John Hickenlooper of Colorado discussing the upcoming vote this week on the Right to IVF Act, introduced by Senate Democrats in response to the Alabama Supreme Court ruling that caused chaos for family planning clinics and the families that result on them by declaring frozen embryos to be legal persons under the state’s constitutional abortion ban. From an explainer released last week by Sen. Patty Murray of Washington:

Repealing Roe empowered extreme Republican legislators and judges to rewrite State Constitutions and laws to redefine the concept of a living, breathing human being to include frozen, extrauterine embryos—a belief founded in theology, rather than medical science and basic commonsense. Laws defining an embryo as constituting a living, breathing human being render IVF, as provided in accordance with widely accepted and evidence-based medical standards of care, to constitute manslaughter or murder due to the disposal of fertilized eggs.

The fringe so-called personhood movement successfully shutdown all IVF clinics in Alabama without ever explicitly prohibiting the performance of IVF. This tragic incident was a chilling and heartbreaking manifestation of the cascading harms that directly flow from Donald Trump’s destruction of Roe v. Wade. Even the Alabama Republican’s so-called legislative “fix” perpetuated the offensive Republican view that IVF is a criminal and immoral act that requires patients and doctors to receive criminal and civil immunity to engage in it.

As NBC News reports, this Democratic legislation is much stronger than a competing bill offered by GOP Sens. Katie “Serena Joy” Britt and “Cancun Ted” Cruz:

The [GOP] legislation was quickly met with backlash from reproductive rights groups and Senate Democrats, who say that it falls short because of its vague definition of the procedure that excludes discarding frozen embryos and that it doesn’t explicitly prohibit states from implementing restrictive policies surrounding IVF.

“Unlike GOP legislation that would not protect IVF and is only a PR tool for Republicans to hide their extremism, our Right to IVF Act would actually protect Americans from attempts to restrict IVF and would allow more people to access these vital services at a lower cost,” Murray said in a statement. [Pols emphasis]

The standoff over protecting in vitro fertilization is similar to the conflict that resulted in Senate Republicans blocking a bill last week to protect contraception access after ex-President Donald Trump stated before walking it back that he was “looking at” limiting access to contraception–which Republicans working on Trump’s “Project 2025” agenda have in fact proposed. In addition, Justice Clarence Thomas has said that the repeal of Roe should open other decisions like Griswold v. Connecticut protecting contraception to another look.

Politically, Republicans have fallen into a trap wherein they cannot help Democrats pass legislation that would remedy this concern, therefore taking ownership of the issue even if they claim they “would never” oppose access to birth control or in vitro fertilization. The nuance of differences between GOP and Democratic bills is irrelevant to voters who only see Republicans voting against legislation that would protect access to medicine most never imagined would ever be threatened again. Swing voters attach no value to the perennial GOP objective of “owning the libs.”

Approaching two years since the Dobbs decision ended the nationwide guarantee of abortion rights, Republicans seem to be doing everything they can to ensure a second and potentially much greater round of retribution at the polls this November. When Democrats warned back in 2014 that electing Cory Gardner to the U.S. Senate could result in bans on birth control, they were scoffed at by the pundit class on a national level.

No honest person is scoffing today.


5 thoughts on “Hickenlooper Tees Up Fight Over IVF After Senate Republicans Kill Contraception Bill

    1. Known opponents of any & all forms of contraception include Catholic bishops, Guiding Star Project, the pill kills dot org, American Life Leage, Leonard Leo. Other religious right groups oppposing some forms of contraception include Americans United for Life and likely others. I'm curious how the religious right will structure an anti-contraception campaign given how popular birth control is with the public. They'll need a case and radical right plaintiffs, similar to the anti-abortion pill case. And they will need a far right wing activist judge like Kacsmaryk in Amarillo.

      1. CHB, they will sell it to the MAGAverse by saying that white couples need to have more babies to offset the "anchor babies" being produced by all the black and brown people invading the US.

        Question:  I wonder if they would be opposed to birth control including abortion if it was made available only to people of color?

  1. I thought saving democracy, and removing corruption would be the top priority….but yeah…abortion is a civil rights and medical rights issue…but nothing good can happen until repubicans are no longer involved in governing…I would encourage all Colorado republicans to leave Colorado…we do not like your corrupt and criminal gang…Boebert, the carpetbagger, proves that the repubican gang is a cult…a false religious gang cult? hmmmm…republicans are bad people, and they keep proving it on a daily basis…

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