GOP Congressman Suggests Women Don’t Care That Much About Protecting IVF

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In an interview on CNN highlighted by a rapid response team associated with the Biden campaign that mirrored GOP rhetoric heard elsewhere, Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) doubted that women and prospective voters in general care all that much about the latest developments in access to in vitro fertilization (IVF).

The procedures were recently put in legal jeopardy by a state Supreme Court ruling in Alabama deeming frozen embryos created as part of the process “children,” which threatened to massively increase the legal stakes for discarding embryos that end up un-utilized. The ruling drew condemnation from even President Joe Biden, who pushed again for re-establishing protections for reproductive care like those created by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade, which the court overturned in 2022.

“If you go on Main Street, USA, and tell them to name the top ten troubling spots that the country faces, I doubt embryos — the decision in Alabama with the embryo situation or their views in Alabama would come to the top of the list,” Norman told an incredulous host.

Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) spoke similarly at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Asked if the ruling would “alienate” some prospective voters, Tuberville said: “I don’t know; it might some. But, you know, you don’t hear a lot of talk about it. You don’t — that’s not a big conversation.”

President Joe Biden took the exact opposite approach. “I know that folks are worried about what they’re seeing happening to women all across America,” Biden said. “I am too. I hear about it everywhere I go. My message is: The Vice President and I are fighting for your rights. We’re fighting for the freedom of women, for families, and for doctors who care for these women.”

Meanwhile, some remain concerned about potential impacts on care should Republicans see extensive success in this year’s elections. Donald Trump, who remains the front-runner for Republicans’ presidential nomination this year, has spoken with pride of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade with three of his nominees on the bench.