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New Hampshire Delegation Reacts to Republicans Blocking Effort by Senate Democrats to Pass Legislation to Protect IVF for All Americans

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH), along with U.S. Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01), condemned Republican objections to Senate Democrats’ attempt to protect in-vitro fertilization (IVF) by passing the Access to Family Building Act by unanimous consent. Today’s effort is in response to the outrageous decision in the Alabama state Supreme Court that ruled embryos are legally considered children, causing multiple IVF clinics in Alabama to suspend services. Shaheen and Hassan are both cosponsors of the legislation in the Senate, and Kuster and Pappas are cosponsors of the House companion bill. 

“The recent decision in Alabama makes clear what we have always known: efforts to roll back reproductive freedoms are about controlling women’s bodies,” said Senator Shaheen. “This ruling further strips women of their power to decide when and how to start a family, which is why Senate Democrats attempted to pass legislation that would guarantee access to IVF for women across the country. Unsurprisingly, Republicans voted down the effort and doubled down on their own efforts to diminish reproductive freedom by putting partisan politics above the rights of Americans just trying to start or grow a family.”  

“Many of my constituents, my friends, and my relatives have used IVF to start a family and to enjoy the blessing of children – and the effort to limit access to IVF is yet another result of the Supreme Court’s dangerous decision to overturn Roe v. Wade,” said Senator Hassan. “It is outrageous that a Senate Republican blocked today’s effort to advance important legislation to protect access to IVF and similar treatments nationwide – and I will continue fighting back against Republican leaders’ efforts to block women from making their own health care decisions. The last group of people who should be making these personal health care decisions are judges or lawmakers.” 

“Families in New Hampshire and all across the country rely on IVF to help them have children — now, those services are under attack,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “I was proud to help introduce legislation to keep the government out of our personal, private reproductive decisions and codify the right to assisted reproductive technologies, including IVF. I’m extremely disappointed that Republicans blocked this effort, further stripping Americans of their reproductive freedoms. I will continue fighting to ensure the decision of when and how to have a family is made by parents and their loved ones, not politicians.” 

“It should never be up to politicians or judges to decide how or when women and their families plan to have kids,” said Congressman Pappas. “But today’s vote in the Senate further illustrates that extreme Republicans are hell bent on ripping access to reproductive care away from women, even access to IVF and assisted reproductive technology. Everyone who wants to build a family should be able to do so, and passing the Access to Family Building Act would ensure that women can always access IVF, regardless of what state they live in.” 

The Access to Family Building Act, which was introduced earlier this year by U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Patty Murray (D-WA) and U.S. Representative Susan Wild (PA-07), would establish a statutory right for individuals to access IVF and other assisted reproductive technology, ensuring parents and doctors do not face state-level criminal liability for starting or growing a family. 

Senator Shaheen and the New Hampshire delegation have been unrelenting advocates for women’s reproductive rights. Recently, the delegation joined Planned Parenthood of New England (PPNNE) ahead of the anniversary of Roe v. Wade to highlight the impact abortion bans have had in New Hampshire since the disastrous Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision jeopardized reproductive health care for millions of women. Shaheen and Hassan also held a press conference before the Supreme Court overturned Roe with the delegation and PPNNE to discuss women’s freedoms and the implications for reproductive health.