Senate blocks bill to guarantee nationwide access to IVF | WORLD
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Senate blocks bill to guarantee nationwide access to IVF

A view of some egg samples held inside a smaller cryo storage container, each container capable of holding approximately 150 egg samples immersed in liquid nitrogen, in one of the secured storage areas at the Aspire Houston Fertility Institute in vitro fertilization lab Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, in Houston. The Associated Press/Photo by Michael Wyke

Senate blocks bill to guarantee nationwide access to IVF

The Senate on Thursday blocked the so-called Right to IVF Act proposed by senators Cory Booker, D-N.J., Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., and Patty Murray, D-Wash. The bill failed in a narrow 48-47 vote. The bill aimed to enshrine access to in vitro fertilization into federal law and require employer-sponsored and some public insurance plans to cover the procedure.

Has there been a Republican version of the act? Murray on Wednesday blocked a Republican-backed bill to protect access to IVF as Democrats pushed their legislation. Senators Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Katie Britt, R-Ala., in May proposed the IVF Protection Act that would have denied Medicaid funds to states that prohibit IVF. Murray said the bill was insufficient and would still allow states to regulate fertility treatments.

What prompted these bills? The votes come after the Alabama Supreme Court in February ruled that embryos involved in IVF procedures were human beings. The case was prompted by a lawsuit over the destruction of IVF embryos kept in storage. Some fertility clinics in the state temporarily suspended IVF treatments following the ruling. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey in March signed into law a bill to provide IVF facilities with assurances of reduced liability, allowing the facilities to resume operations.

Dig deeper: Read Leah Savas’ report in Vitals sifting through the various misunderstandings of the Alabama Supreme Court ruling.

Lauren Canterberry

Lauren Canterberry is a reporter for WORLD. She graduated from the World Journalism Institute and the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism, both in 2017. She worked as a local reporter in Texas and now lives in Georgia with her husband.

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