Senators Reed and Whitehouse Continue Pressing to Protect IVF Access After Alabama Supreme Court Ruling

In response to Alabama’s State Supreme Court classifying frozen embryos as “children” under state law, Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) have joined forces with Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) to introduce the Access to Family Building Act. The legislation aims to safeguard access to in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other assisted reproductive technologies (ART) across the United States. Despite gaining significant Senate support with 47 cosponsors, the bill faced opposition from Senate Republicans, resulting in its recent blocking.

The Access to Family Building Act proposes the establishment of a statutory right for individuals to access assisted reproductive technology services, including IVF, without unreasonable limitations. It also outlines rights regarding the use or disposition of reproductive genetic materials, allowing the Department of Justice to pursue civil action against those violating the proposed protections. Furthermore, the bill creates a private right of action for individuals and healthcare providers in states with limited ART access.

Senator Reed emphasized the significance of IVF in providing millions of Americans struggling with infertility the opportunity for parenthood. He expressed concern over attempts to limit access to IVF, making it more expensive and imposing additional hurdles, ultimately infringing on reproductive freedoms. Senator Whitehouse echoed these sentiments, highlighting the personal nature of family planning and the government’s intrusion into such decisions.

In light of the recent Supreme Court ruling in the Dobbs case, which severely impacted abortion rights, concerns have been raised about the potential threat to access to IVF and other reproductive technologies. A patchwork of state abortion bans has led to confusion among patients and providers regarding the services available, including ART, in states with strict laws. Several states, predominantly led by Republican lawmakers, have proposed legislation to restrict ART access.

The Alabama State Supreme Court’s ruling is seen as the latest attack in a broader assault on women’s reproductive rights, adding to the challenges faced by those deciding when and how to have children.

The Access to Family Building Act has garnered support from prominent organizations, including the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association.

Despite the ruling in Alabama, IVF remains protected in Rhode Island.




Like Newport Buzz? We depend on the generosity of readers like you who support us, to help with our mission to keep you informed and entertained with local, independent news and content. We truly appreciate your trust and support!