Texas anti-abortion leader openly admits movement is coming for IVF
For the past decade, Republicans and anti-abortion activists have insisted they simply want to overturn Roe vs. Wade send abortion back to the states for them to decide. They said ban on abortion without exception for rape were too extreme; they or they rebuffed then-candidate Donald Trump to say that women who abort must be punished.
Then they won—deer was overthrown – and everything changed. Everything is open now: the Republicans are pursuing a six-week nationwide abortion ban and indicating that they prefer let pregnant women die than to give them a legal abortion. Anti-abortion activists are claiming that 10-year-old rape survivors should be forced to give birth. They are come for Plan B emergency contraception, and now they’re admitting what reproductive rights advocates have been warning for years: even in vitro fertilization isn’t safe.
“Ultimately, we believe that all human life is precious and deserves our legal protection from the onset of fertilization, whether it occurs through normal means or through IVF. And so we certainly want those embryos created through the IVF process to be protected,” Rebecca Parma, senior legislative associate at Texas Right to Life, told local Texas media Wednesday.
“But I think it’s going to be a process,” she added. “I don’t think that’s something that’s going to happen in the next legislative session because obviously IVF is part of our culture and something that I think is quite near and dear to a lot of people who want families and children.”
Reproductive rights advocates have long suspected this to happen, as the push for fetal “personhood” laws in several states defines a fertilized egg as a person, and IVF clinics store, donate and dispose of embryos. The 19th News reported on Thursday that the couples are already moving their embryos across state lines to avoid possible legal complications:
In Seattle, Dr. Lora Shahine, a reproductive endocrinologist at Pacific NW Fertility and host of the Baby or Bust podcast, said every patient she’s had since Roe was overthrown has asked her how the decision might affect their treatment. . Calls are coming in from out-of-state patients wanting to establish care with Shahine so they can then move their embryos to Washington, where abortion rights have been codified for more than 30 years.
Those she’s spoken to worry that their embryos will be held hostage by abortion laws and then they won’t be able to move them out of state, Shahine said.
The idea that extreme abortion bans could impact IVF has long been part of the conversation on the left, but Republicans and anti-abortion activists almost never acknowledge this assumption because it is so extreme that it is almost unfathomable. The fact that the most prominent anti-abortion group in Texas is now saying the quiet part out loud and openly acknowledging that basic, common fertility treatment is on its radar should absolutely terrify everyone. The nightmare is here, and stopping it will take more than a sign of protest.