Butler Joins Colleagues in Calling for Protection of IVF Access

Washington, D.C. – Today, Senate Democrats will vote on the Right to IVF Act—a critical piece of legislation that would guarantee women’s access to fertility treatment. Unfortunately, Senator Butler was not able to join her colleagues due to a positive COVID-19 test. Had she been able to attend the vote today, she would have voted YES to protect this essential right to reproductive health care.  

Senator Butler’s remarks are below as prepared for delivery:

Right to IVF Act Floor Remarks

M. President,

I rise today to join my colleagues in support of the Right to IVF Act of 2024. I’d like to start by thanking Senators Duckworth, Murray, Booker, and Leader Schumer for their work championing this legislation, which would help ensure IVF services are available and accessible to patients across the country. 

It should appall all of us that one of the most common forms of assisted reproductive technology is under attack, but it should not surprise us. Extreme MAGA Republicans across the nation will stop at nothing to exert control over women’s bodies. 

Just three months ago, my Republican colleagues in this chamber had the opportunity to stand with women and families. Instead, they blocked a bill to expand IVF access and family-building services for veterans & service members, which after serving our nation, for many, is the only way to make their dream of having a family possible.  

And in February, the Alabama Supreme Court issued a ruling that ground IVF treatments to a halt and ushered in weeks of chaos and confusion for would-be parents.  

But it’s not just Alabama—women and families across the nation face fear and uncertainty as extreme Republicans in several other states seek to limit access to IVF altogether.  

Following the Alabama Supreme Court’s ruling that embryos created through in vitro fertilization are considered children, so-called fetal personhood bills have been introduced in Kansas, Florida, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Utah during the 2024 legislative session.  

We’ve seen example after example of MAGA Republicans’ shameful crusade to rip reproductive health services out of the hands of people who need them. It is dumbfounding to see this level of blatant contradiction from Republicans who love to tout themselves as being the “pro-life party” on the campaign trail. 

But here, in the room where it happens, they are advocating for policies that would foreclose for so many families the opportunity to have children. Their actions speak much louder than their words. 

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, IVF has proven to be a necessary family-building tool. Yet, the “party of family values” is intent on blocking this bill.  

Across the country, including in states represented by my Republican colleagues, there are stories of countless women, and their significant others, who have spent years waiting, saving, and praying for the day they could bring a child into the world. These are constituents – our collective constituents – who stand to benefit tremendously from legislation like the Right to IVF Act.  

This week, I heard from Karli from Santa Rosa, California who wrote to me about her experience receiving IVF care. 

She says, “The biggest dream of my life was to be a Mama. When I married my husband, he had gotten a vasectomy 18 years earlier. He had surgery to reverse it, so we could try to have a baby naturally. We tried for years with no success. We looked into adoptions but had no idea the process could be so long, so expensive, and no guarantee we would be chosen as parents…  

“After 3 years of fertility issues, we finally saw a reproductive specialist. We chose to use donated embryos, and after our 3rd transfer, we had a successful pregnancy and live birth. Our daughter is the biggest blessing of my life, brings joy, love and laughter to everyone she meets.  

“Without the help of reproductive intervention, she would not have been born, and I would not have been able to be a Mama. I am beyond grateful, and the world is absolutely a better place with my angel in it…”

I am proud to know that California is leading the charge to protect IVF access and reproductive freedom across the board. But there are thousands of Karli’s in Missouri, in Alabama, in Georgia, and across the nation who are not guaranteed those same rights.  

M. President, the Right to IVF Act is needed and necessary legislation. The American people are counting on us to safeguard the right to these vital services, and I urge my colleagues to join me in advancing this bill.

Thank you, M. President. I yield the floor.  

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