New York Republican becomes first GOP member to support bill protecting IVF


Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-N.Y.) announced Wednesday that he was cosponsoring a bill to protect access for in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments, becoming the first Republican to back the care.

In a statement, Molinaro said he would be cosponsoring the Access to Family Building Act, with Rep. Susan Wild (D-Pa.). It had companion legislation introduced in the Senate by Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.).

The bills follow the Alabama Supreme Court’s controversial ruling last month that found frozen embryos are children under state law, forcing IVF treatments to come to a halt. Fertility clinics in the state restarted treatments last week after the state passed a law that protected patients and clinics from legal liability under the ruling.

“I was troubled by and said at the time that I opposed Alabama’s ruling to limit IVF. I’m a parent who has personal experience with IVF and support all women and families who choose IVF to bring life into this world,” Molinaro said in a statement. “Protecting it is just commonsense.”

The bill seeks to establish a statutory right to access IVF and would override any state effort to limit service. It would also ensure that “no hopeful parent” or doctor would be punished for the treatment.

The unprecedented ruling from Alabama’s highest court alarmed medical professionals and reproductive health advocates.

Republicans have been outspoken in protecting Americans’ right to seek IVF treatment but have largely avoided detailing how Alabama clinics should handle unplanted, viable embryos since many agree with the ruling that embryos are children who deserve equal rights.

Molinaro becomes the first GOP member to back legislation to protect the right to the fertility treatment. In the past, the New York Republican has prevented mifepristone and birth control restrictions from passing, his statement said.

Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.) had previously been reported to have supported Wild’s bill but said she was added to it “without confirmation,” and that amendments would “need to take place” for her to fully support it, NBC News reported.

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