ICYMI: GOP faces political minefield on IVF, life at conception [The Hill]


The Hill: GOP faces political minefield on IVF, life at conception
By Nathaniel Weixel 
June 16, 2024

  • In vitro fertilization (IVF) has become a political minefield for GOP Senate candidates as they seek to balance their stated support for IVF access with their beliefs that life begins at conception.  
  • Democrats sought to force the issue this week with a vote on legislation that would make it a right nationwide for women to access IVF. All but two Republicans voted against the motion, blocking the bill from moving forward.
  • At the same time, the Southern Baptists — the country’s largest denomination of Protestants largely seen as a bellwether for evangelicals — voted to oppose the use of IVF, underlining the competing pressure on Republicans. 
  • And it all comes as the GOP has largely been playing defense on the political field since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which led dozens of states to ban or impose severe restrictions on access to abortion. 
  • Protecting IVF has become a top campaign issue for Democrats after an Alabama Supreme Court ruling froze access to the treatment in the state, and the party wants to force GOP candidates across the country to answer uncomfortable questions about the full impact of fetal personhood.   
  • Moreno, who is endorsed by the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony Pro Life America, has also repeatedly said he thinks life begins at conception.   
  • “Conservative Republicans should never back down from their belief that life begins at conception and that abortion is the murder of an innocent baby,” Moreno said on social media in 2022.  
  • In February, Moreno said during a radio interview that his Catholic faith “teaches you that life begins at conception.” 
  • Moreno’s campaign did not respond when asked whether he would have supported the Senate Democrats’ bill. 
  • In a 2022 interview with right-wing media outlet Breitbart, Pennsylvania Republican David McCormick, who was running for Senate, said he believes “life begins at conception” and that he supports “court rulings and legislation that … ultimately moves us in a direction where there isn’t abortion.”  
  • His campaign did not say whether he would have voted for the Democrats’ bill. 
  • The GOP response to the Alabama court ruling forced politicians to reckon with the new political reality that reproductive rights have been a winning issue for Democrats. 
  • Republicans who opposed abortion rights had to awkwardly explain why they disagreed with the ruling and supported IVF, even though they believe embryos are babies. 
  • “The attempt to moderate that some of these Republican candidates are doing, is a signal in and of itself that they know they’re on the wrong side. And thus far we have not seen people believe it,” said Democratic pollster Angela Kuefler. 
  • Republicans have largely avoided the key question: If they believe life begins at conception, how should IVF clinics handle viable embryos that are not implanted? 
  • Yasmin Radjy, executive director of Swing Left, which supports battleground Democrats, said Republicans know they ought to show support for IVF, contraception and reproductive rights, but they’re responding to pressure from “far right interest groups” instead. 


Next Post

REMINDER One Week From Anniversary of GOP Overturning Roe v. Wade: GOP Senate Candidates Oppose Women’s Right to Make Their Own Health Care Decisions

Stay Connected


1 day Ago

ago on Twitter


Defend Our Democratic
Senate Majority

Sign up to receive text updates. By participating, you consent to receive recurring committee & fundraising messages from the DSCC, including automated text messages. Msg & Data rates may apply. Privacy Policy & ToS.