Cruz and Britt propose bill to stop Medicaid funding for states that ban IVF

Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Katie Britt (R-AL) are introducing a new bill on Monday that aims to protect nationwide access to in vitro fertilization (IVF) by making it a requirement for states to receive federal Medicaid funding. Under this legislation, any state that attempts to ban IVF through their legislatures or courts would lose their eligibility for Medicaid funding. The introduction of this bill by Cruz and Britt comes at a time when Republicans are seeking to distance themselves from a recent controversial ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court. This ruling has created a political challenge for Republicans and could potentially alienate swing voters leading up to the November election, especially in light of the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade.

The senators clarify that while the legislation allows states to establish their own health and safety standards for IVF, it also ensures that federal funding for the practice is contingent upon the protection of access to IVF under federal law.

In a recent op-ed to the Wall Street Journal, the senators expressed their support for federal legislation to protect the rights of families seeking to have children through in vitro fertilization (IVF). They emphasized the need to eliminate any ambiguity that may arise from state-level judicial interpretations following the Supreme Court’s decision. The senators stated that their goal is to ensure that legal confusion does not compromise any family’s ability to pursue their chosen path to parenthood.

Alabama’s highest court made a significant decision in February, declaring that frozen embryos should be legally recognized as children. According to the court’s ruling, any destruction of these embryos would be considered a criminal act under the state’s “wrongful death of a minor” law. This ruling has far-reaching implications for the legal status and protection of frozen embryos in Alabama.

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Many Republican lawmakers voiced their opposition to the Alabama ruling in the weeks after the court’s decision. In December, Kellyanne Conway, former adviser to President Donald Trump, made a trip to Capitol Hill and presented polling data showing that 86% of voters support in-vitro fertilization (IVF), including 78% of those who identify as “pro-life” and 83% of evangelicals.

According to a Cruz aide, the motivation behind the bill stems from the Democrats’ use of fear-mongering tactics to portray Republicans as being against IVF.

According to a spokesperson for Ted Cruz, the Republican senator is aiming to address the issue of Democrats making this a prominent election topic by partnering with Katie Britt.

According to an aide, the aim of this bill is to expose the hypocrisy and compel Democrats to vote on it.

The Republicans have introduced a separate bill from the one introduced by Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) in January, which aims to protect IVF access. There has been pushback from many Republicans against Duckworth’s bill, as they argue that its broad language could potentially lead to unintended abortion protections.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops recently sent a letter to Republicans, expressing their opposition to Duckworth’s Access to Family Building Act. In the letter, they argued against the federal protection of IVF, stating that it poses a threat to the most vulnerable human beings.

The bishops argue that supporting the legalization of IVF, despite good intentions, does not align with a pro-life or pro-child stance. They suggest alternative approaches, such as investing in life-affirming infertility research or providing stronger support for couples interested in adoption.

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“We are acutely aware of the profound longing and immense pain experienced by families grappling with infertility, as we minister to them and our parishioners. It is our utmost priority to alleviate this personal anguish,” the bishops expressed. “However, we cannot endorse an enterprise and a field that thrives on the creation of countless children who are destined to be discarded or forsaken.”

The Washington Examiner contacted Duckworth and SBA Pro Life America for comment.

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