White House accuses Republicans of ‘attempting to erase their own records’ on IVF

White House accuses Republicans of ‘attempting to erase their own records’ on IVF

The White House on Monday put the spotlight on House Republicans’ support for legislation that says life begins at conception, even as many of them have rushed to defend in vitro fertilization (IVF) following a controversial Alabama court ruling.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, in a memo shared with The Hill, pointed to GOP support for the Life at Conception Act, which she described as “an extreme, dangerous bill that would eliminate reproductive freedom for all women in every state.”

The bill is co-sponsored by 125 Republicans in the House, including Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.). The proposal calls for equal protection under the 14th Amendment for “each born and preborn human person” and it defines a human being as “each member of the species homo sapiens at all stages of life, including the moment of fertilization or cloning, or other moment at which an individual member of the human species comes into being.”

The White House sought to contrast the support of many Republicans for that legislation with the flurry of statements from lawmakers and GOP leaders expressing support for IVF accessibility after an Alabama court ruled that frozen embryos are people.

“I believe the life of every single child has inestimable dignity and value. That is why I support IVF treatment, which has been a blessing for many moms and dads who have struggled with fertility,” Johnson said in a statement to The Hill. “I applaud the Alabama Legislature for immediately working to protect life and ensure that IVF treatment is available to families throughout the state.”

“We want to make it easier for mothers and fathers to have babies, not harder! That includes supporting the availability of fertility treatments like IVF in every State in America,” former President Trump said in the aftermath of the Alabama court ruling.

Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) said Sunday on “Meet the Press” that IVF “is so critical to a lot of couples. It helps them breed great families.”

The Senate GOP campaign arm urged candidates to voice support for IVF, and Arizona Senate candidate Kari Lake and Pennsylvania Senate candidate David McCormick each issued statements opposing efforts to restrict IVF.

Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), who previously co-sponsored a “fetal personhood” House bill that said life begins at conception, said in a social media post that he would oppose efforts to restrict IVF.

The Alabama Supreme Court ruling marked the first time a court has ever given rights and protections so early after conception. The ruling did not ban IVF and is limited to Alabama, but it has far-reaching potential and seems poised to open a new front in the fight over reproductive rights in the country, as millions of Americans have relied on IVF to have children.

The White House has said the court ruling is a direct result of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in June 2022.

“Republican officials think they can obfuscate their way out of their support for these extreme policies. But spin is not a time machine,” Jean-Pierre said in Monday’s memo. “No attempt to ‘rebrand’ can change the fact that their true colors are on the record. They have spent decades trying to eliminate the constitutional right to choose and undermine reproductive freedom everywhere.”

“Their agenda is clear, they’re just worried it’s not popular,” Jean-Pierre added.

Updated at 8:46 a.m. ET

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