GOP’s Tommy Tuberville Claims Key Reproductive Care Isn’t A ‘Big Conversation’

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Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), struggled through a series of questions related to accessing in vitro fertilization (IVF) in his state after Alabama’s Supreme Court deemed frozen embryos created as part of the process “children.” The notion could significantly up the legal stakes of that area of reproductive health care, creating serious consequences if, for instance, such an embryo is discarded rather than utilized.

Eventually settling on the latter, Tuberville seemed to speak both positively and critically of the ruling, saying first that it was beneficial to facilitate having more children before a reporter explained that IVF — potentially put under sharp restrictions by the Alabama ruling — focuses on precisely that ambition. “People need to have access,” Tuberville said. “We need more kids. We need people to have the opportunity to have kids.” He also referred at one point to the ruling as a “bill.” It’s not a bill.

Speaking with a group of media personnel at the time, Tuberville was also asked about potential impacts in upcoming elections. Addressing whether the ruling would “alienate” some prospective voters, he 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.” Reproductive health care is the topic of extensive “conversation,” which also applies to specific areas like IVF, particularly after developments like the Alabama ruling.

President Joe Biden took the exact opposite approach after the Alabama ruling, acknowledging that concern in these areas is extensive.

“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. And we won’t stop until we restore the protections of Roe v. Wade in federal law for all women in every state.”