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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On This Week’s Vote To Advance The Right To IVF Act

Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on Senate Democrats’ continued efforts to protect women’s reproductive freedoms after Republicans eliminated Roe v. Wade, including the upcoming vote on the Right to IVF Act later this week. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

It has been two years since Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans succeeded in eliminating Roe, ripping away the right to choose and jeopardizing reproductive care for millions upon millions of women.

Today, women and families across America are worried about more than Roe’s demise. They are worried about what comes next, including the erosion of reproductive freedoms nobody thought were at risk. This includes access to services like IVF.

Eighty-six percent of Americans support IVF, but in the aftermath of Roe – and after frightening decisions like the one from Alabama – many families fear that this basic service cannot be taken for granted. That’s not theoretical – here in Congress some on the hard-right are already trying to restrict IVF access. The Senate can ease people’s worries and protect their freedoms through legislation.

This week, the Senate will vote on the Right to IVF Act, led by my colleagues Senators Duckworth, Murray, and Booker.

The Right to IVF Act establishes a nationwide right to IVF and eliminates barriers for the millions of families looking to use IVF to start and grow a family.

Protecting IVF should be one of the easiest votes the Senate has taken all year. The vast majority of senators should agree that strengthening treatments that help people start a family is a good thing.

In fact, I’ve seen, personally, the immense good IVF can do. I’ve seen it in my own family – one of my grandkids was conceived with the help of IVF treatment, and we’re immensely grateful we had access to this service. I can’t imagine what we would have done if they had told us “sorry, we’re no longer offering this treatment.” Thank God we never had to deal with that.

Now, my family’s story has been repeated over and over and over again in the country millions of times: millions of Americans have the joy of children thanks to IVF.

So, in no way, shape, or form is protecting IVF a show vote – it’s a show-us-who-you-are vote. Remember what some senators said when we first pushed marriage equality two years ago – they called that a “show vote.” They called it “gimmicky,” a “waste.”

And lo and behold: after a lot of hard work, enough Senators on both sides worked together and marriage equality became a law. That bill certainly wasn’t a show vote, and neither is this one.

So, let me say it again: eighty-six percent of Americans support protecting IVF, and just fourteen percent of Americans say it shouldn’t be legal.

Supporting this bill should be a no-brainer here in the Senate, and it’s all the more urgent given what House Republican extremists are doing right now to attack women’s health care through the appropriations process. Just last week, the hard-right stuffed the VA funding bill with poison pills that would rip away reproductive care for our veterans. 

And let’s not forget: three months ago, the Republican Study Committee – which includes eighty percent of House Republicans, an overwhelming majority of them – pushed a radical new agenda that would endanger IVF treatment, along with a national abortion ban with zero exceptions for rape and incest. Eighty-percent of House Republicans support an abortion ban with no exceptions for rape or incest. That’s how far right that group has become on this issue. What a nasty and awful and out-of-touch message to send the American people. Instead of pushing policies that the vast majority of Americans support, House Republicans continue to focus only on their most extreme constituencies.

Here in the Senate, we should choose a different path, one where we show the American people that we will protect the rights they care about, and this IVF bill would be a good way to do that.