Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA)--Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP)--as well as U.S. Representative Susan Wild (D-PA-07), are introducing legislation to protect every American's right to access in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and other assisted reproductive technology (ART) that millions of Americans need to have children, including Senator Duckworth who relied on IVF to have her two daughters. The Right to Build Families Act of 2022 would prohibit limiting access to IVF or any assisted reproductive technology to any American--regardless of their zip code.
"With Roe v. Wade thrown out by the Supreme Court and some states across the country looking to limit our most basic rights, millions of Americans are understandably worried about their access to healthcare, including access to IVF and other assisted reproductive technology that they need to start or grow their families," said Senator Duckworth. "I'm proud to introduce the Right to Build Families Act with Senator Murray and Congresswoman Wild because every American deserves the right to choose how they build their own family--no matter where they live."
"Republicans' extreme abortion bans are forcing women to stay pregnant against their will and are, at the very same time, threatening Americans' ability to build a family through services like IVF. It's hard to comprehend, and it's just plain wrong," said Senator Murray. "Every American should be able to build a family with help from assisted reproductive technology, and our bill will ensure that they can--in every part of our country. This is a truly commonsense bill, and I hope my colleagues will join us to protect Americans' right to build a family on their own terms."
"Living in one zip code or another should not limit any Americans' ability to start a family," said Congresswoman Wild. "That's why I'm proud to introduce the Right to Build Families Act of 2022 alongside Senators Duckworth and Murray, ensuring that all Americans can access the reproductive technologies they need to start the family of their dreams, and that health care providers are confident in their ability to provide such care."
The Right to Build Families Act of 2022 would:
Prohibit limiting any individual from accessing ART or retaining their reproductive genetic materials, including gametes;
Protect healthcare providers who provide ART or related counseling and information;
Allow the Department of Justice to pursue civil action against states that violate the legislation; and
Create a private right of action for individuals and healthcare providers in states that have limited access to ART.
With the Supreme Court overturning Roe and some states enacting extreme abortion bans, many women have not only seen their constitutional right to abortion ripped away from them, but their ability to get treatment for cancer, lupus and more--and to access IVF and other assisted reproductive technology in order to build a family--have also been jeopardized. The new patchwork of state abortion bans has created significant confusion among patients and providers alike about what services doctors can and cannot provide--including assisted reproductive technology--in states with the most restrictive laws. These threats have led IVF centers to call for new protections. In a number of states, Republican lawmakers have proposed legislation that would restrict access to ART. In a recent leaked audio recording, a leading anti-abortion group advised state lawmakers to avoid discussing regulating IVF and contraception at this time but noted that restrictions could be revisited in a few years.