Democrats who want to stifle oversight and regulation of Big Fertility introduced legislation this month to protect the multi-billion-dollar assisted reproductive technology (ART) industry and punish states and health institutions that try to limit third-party child manufacturing.
Democrats Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Sen. Patty Murray, and Rep. Susan Wild introduced the “Access To Family Building Act” (AFBA) under the guise of protecting in vitro fertilization (IVF) for hopeful parents. In reality, the legislation seeks to ensure the unlimited creation and destruction of healthy eggs, sperm, and — most importantly —embryos in all 50 states by punishing any entity that tries to “unduly restrict access” to a range of reproductive technologies.
Duckworth’s bill refuses to specifically define ART. Instead, it points to Section 8 of the 1992 Fertility Clinic Success Rate and Certification Act (FCSRCA). which lists “all treatments or procedures” that include eggs, sperm, and embryos; IVF; and surgical reproduction procedures like gamete and zygote intrafallopian transfer (GIFT and ZIFT) as eligible for protection under the Democrats’ latest legislation.
The FCSRCA also includes a provision empowering the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to expand the definition of ART to “such other specific technologies” as long as he publicizes his intent “in such manner as to facilitate comment from any person (including any Federal or other public agency).”
The sweeping and subjective categorizations in the FCSRCA mean that while manufacturing lifelong motherless and fatherless children, surrogacy, and experimental transhumanist technologies like artificial wombs, “gene editing,” and sidelining women in reproduction are not explicitly mentioned in Duckworth’s bill, they could easily be construed to fit within the parameters of protection.
If passed, Duckworth’s bill would permit individuals and Big Fertility facilities to sue if any state moves to impose even globally accepted common sense limits on procedures like IVF, surrogacy, and oocyte sales. It would also give President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice the justification to pursue action against any state, facility, or individual that tries to limit or regulate the use of past, present, and future babymaking tech.
IVF is responsible for the millions of embryos sitting in frozen storage across the United States and the millions more that, despite the possibility of yielding a successful pregnancy, are destroyed during and after the procedure. ART such as preimplantation genetic diagnosis often yields incorrect results and leads to premature disposal of viable embryos. Similarly, embryo freezing reduces the chance of an embryo surviving.
Statistics and science say that fundamentally revamping what it means to be a family or even human harms both women and babies because it sidelines children’s natural right to their natural mother and father to accommodate the desires of adults. Yet it’s an ideal all ART procedures often promote or aid.
Further, business for the “reproduction for all” fertility industry is booming and winning over the hearts, minds, and pens of leftist legislators.
What Duckworth Gets Wrong About Rights
Duckworth and Co. tried and failed to get a unanimous consent vote on their “Right to Build Families Act” in 2022. They also threw their weight behind California Rep. Adam Schiff’s Equal Access to Reproductive Care Act with the hopes of subsidizing ART and commercial surrogacy through a tax break.
Now, more than one and a half years after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson decision, Democrats are reviving arguments that states will crack down on Big Fertility in hopes of jamming their legislation through Congress before the 2024 election.
Laws designed to hold the baby manufacturing market accountable remain largely nonexistent, save a few states that ban commercial surrogacy. Yet Duckworth, who conceived a child at 49 years old via IVF, complains that Republicans’ strong pro-life showing in state legislatures will “severely limit their residents’ right to access basic reproductive care—but also pushing proposals that would jeopardize access to IVF and other assisted reproductive technologies that millions of Americans need to start or grow their families.”
She insists “Access to IVF and other assisted reproductive technology is a right.” Murray similarly quips that “It’s hard to comprehend GOP attacks on technologies like IVF that help women have MORE children—until you remember: the bottom line for the anti-choice movement is & has always been about control.”
“Today, anything an adult really wants is conveniently framed as a ‘right,’” Them Before Us founder Katy Faust told The Federalist. “But there is no ‘right’ to artificially and commercially manufacture children in a laboratory, nor a ‘right’ to separate them from one or both biological parents, both of which this bill would facilitate.”
Outsourcing reproduction is no more a legal or human right than killing unborn babies. Unsurprisingly, the same women touting the AFBA are staunch supporters of abortion who voted in favor of legislation that would have codified ending life in the womb through all nine months of pregnancy.
The baby-making and baby-taking industries that Democrats support are both driven by adults’ selfish desires, not a child’s right to life.
No matter which way you slice it, Democrats’ latest ART legislation is not protecting women’s “rights.” They are protecting a global business that routinely exploits and profits off of the misfortunes of others.
“If you want to talk about legitimate rights, a child’s natural right to life and right to be known and loved by the two people responsible for [his or her] existence tops the list,” Faust continued. “Both child rights would be threatened by this legislation. Neither you, nor I, nor the government should be financially complicit in sacrificing the fundamental rights of children on the altar of adult wants.”
As interest in reproductive tech as a means to parenthood skyrockets, ART deserves oversight and regulation. That won’t be possible if Duckworth’s bill passes.