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Senator Baldwin Joins Colleagues in Introducing Legislation to Protect Americans' Right to Build A Family Through IVF, Other Assisted Reproductive Technology

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin joined a bicameral group of colleagues in 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. 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.

“Regardless of where they live, every American deserves the freedom to decide when and how to build a family,” said Senator Tammy Baldwin. “Unfortunately, since the activist Supreme Court stripped away the reproductive rights of millions of women across the country, Americans are now worried about other health care rights that might be on the chopping block – like IVF. I’m proud to support the Right to Build Families Act to ensure that families across the country have access to the tools they need to start a family on their own terms.”

The Right to Build Families Act of 2022 would:

  1. Prohibit limiting any individual from accessing ART or retaining their reproductive genetic materials, including gametes;
  2. Protect healthcare providers who provide ART or related counseling and information;
  3. Allow the Department of Justice to pursue civil action against states that violate the legislation; and
  4. Create a private right of action for individuals and healthcare providers in states that have limited access to ART.

The legislation is led by U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), who relied on IVF to have her two daughters, and Patty Murray (D-WA) and U.S. Representative Susan Wild (D-PA-07). The bill is also sponsored by U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and U.S. Representatives Gerry Connolly (D-VA-11) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03).

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 cancerlupus 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.

This legislation is endorsed by: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; American Humanist Association; American Society for Reproductive Medicine; Center for Reproductive Rights; HealthyWomen; National Council of Jewish Women; National Partnership for Women and Families; Physicians for Reproductive Health and RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association.

A copy of the bill one-pager can be found here.