Gottheimer Wants to Strengthen Protections for IVF Patients

PARAMUS – Reverberations from the recent Alabama Supreme Court ruling equating frozen embryos with people are not likely to stop anytime soon. Especially in a presidential election year.

The political fault lines generally put Republicans in the “pro-life” camp and associate Democrats with the “pro-choice” position.

Not so much this time.

Many Republicans have condemned the Alabama ruling and expressed support for in vitro fertilization.

Rep. Josh Gottheimer aims to test that.

The CD-5 congressman convened a presser Wednesday morning with local officials and doctors at the soon to be opened New Valley Hospital in Paramus.

Gottheimer said he will soon introduce what he calls the SAFE act – Security Access to Fertility Everywhere.

He said the bill would protect IVF patients and their providers, including the transportation of embryos.

Additionally, Gottheimer said he is also championing the House version of a bill in the Senate that would establish a statutory right to access assistive reproductive technologies, including IVF. That bill, which is sponsored by Wisconsin Democrat Tammy Duckworth, may be voted on today.

Two things to keep in mind.

By just about any measure, Democrats are on overly-safe political ground by backing IVF.

The political goal here is to force Republicans to take the same stand, which could upset at least a portion of their pro-life base.

As Gottheimer notes, the Senate bill and his planned bill give Republicans a great opportunity to back what many say they support – IVF treatment for those who need such an avenue to build a family/

Some may say that the brouhaha over the Alabama ruling is distinct from the battle over abortion rights, but politically speaking, both are intertwined.

Democrats, like Gottheimer did today, contend that the overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022 has prompted related court rulings and state laws aimed at curtailing rights of women.

As the congressman pointed out, a grandmother who was alive in 1973 had more rights regarding personal freedom than her daughter and granddaughter do today.

Mary J. Amoroso, a Bergen County Commissioner, called restricting IVF treatments in Alabama “crazy” and something out of science fiction.

It is worth noting that since the 2022 decision, Democrats have overperformed the polls in many races all over the country. Moreover, there have been seven state referendums on abortion rights and the pro-choice side has won all of them.

As for the bills on IVF coming up in Congress, Gottheimer said many Republicans have said they are unhappy with the Alabama ruling,

But will they back IVF protections?

“Trust and verify,” he said. “Let’s see if (they) actually believe in what they are saying ..”

Talk about a bipartisan reference.

The phrase, trust and verify, of course, dates back to Ronald Reagan and his view of negotiating arms control deals with the Soviets.

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