Klobuchar slams Republicans who voted against IVF legislation

June 14, 2024

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) slammed her Republican colleagues who voted to block legislation on Thursday that would have codified into law the national right to access in vitro fertilization (IVF).

In an interview on CNN’s “The Source,” Kaitlan Collins asked Klobuchar what her message is to Senate Republicans who say they support IVF but voted against the legislation because of “political grandstanding” by Democrats.

“I‘d like them to say that to the two women that I met with this morning from Minnesota, both of whom have lovely children because of IVF,” Klobuchar responded. “Eight million […] kids born in the United States with IVF. Over 1,100 just in my state alone last year. These are real families. These are families that look at this with horror.”

“And, of course, we want to codify it into law,” Klobuchar continued, directing her message at Republicans. “And so if they want to do it, don‘t just talk about it. Do it.”

The bill on Thursday needed 60 votes in order to move forward, which would have required nine Republicans to break ranks and vote with Democrats. The final vote was 48-47, with only two Republicans defecting: Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska).

Senate Republicans block legislation to codify IVF access

The Right to IVF Act, sponsored by Democratic Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D), Patty Murray (D) and Cory Booker (D), is a package of four bills that would both establish a nationwide right to IVF and other assisted reproductive technology, as well as lower the costs of IVF treatment to make it more accessible.

The vote Thursday is the latest in a series set up by Senate Democratic leadership about codifying reproductive rights. It comes a week after Republicans blocked a similar bill from Democrats that would have guaranteed the right to contraception.

Republicans criticized the vote as an election year stunt, expressing concerns about unfunded mandates and the impact on religious freedom.

GOP senators Wednesday tried to bring up their own alternative IVF bill from Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Katie Britt (R-Ala.) that would bar states from receiving Medicaid funding if they implemented a ban on IVF but would not stop a court from restricting the procedure.

Cruz and Britt also said the legislation would ensure IVF is fully protected by federal law, though it does not create a right to IVF.

Murray blocked the bill, saying on Wednesday it “explicitly allows states to enact restrictions and burdensome requirements that would force IVF clinics to close their doors,” adding, “That bill is nothing but a PR stunt, providing cover for Republicans to keep somehow pretending they’re not going to control women’s bodies.”

On the Senate floor Wednesday, Britt said Democrats were only interested in fearmongering.

“Sadly, they aren’t interested in a bill to actually protect IVF access and figuring out how we could get that to become law. That wouldn’t advance their true goal, which is about partisan electoral politics,” Britt said.