ABC7: Congressman Gottheimer proposes federal action to protect family’s right to access IVF treatment

Feb 29, 2024
In the News


ByToni YatesWABC logo

ARAMUS, New Jersey (WABC) — Democrats on Capitol Hill introduced a bill Wednesday afternoon that would provide federal protection to families and medical providers regarding in vitro fertilization (IVF).

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth and fellow Democrats introduced the ‘Right to Build Families Act’ on the Senate floor Wednesday, a measure supported by Congressman Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey

It comes after the Alabama Supreme Court passed a ruling that basically considers frozen embryos children, suggesting that women, their doctors, even companies that ship and store embryos, could be prosecuted if an embryo fails to remain viable.

This raises huge concerns in New Jersey.

“Families in Alabama are now talking about shipping frozen embryos out of state to avoid government intervention,” said Mary Amoroso, Vice Chairwoman and Bergen County commissioner.

Congressman Gottheimer accused far-right politicians and conservative judges of stepping way out of line.

“What Alabama is doing, what many states are doing, what many people in Congress unfortunately are doing, they are conducting a war on women’s healthcare and a war on women overall,” Gottheimer said.

The congressman stood with fertility specialists at Valley Hospital to say protections must be put in place.

“We have reassured our patients that we are committed to continue to provide all forms of fertility treatments, including IVF as we have done so over the past 25 years with thousands of children born as a result,” said Dr. Ali Nasseri, medical director of reproductive and infertility at Valley Hospital.

Experts say since the availability of in-vitro fertilization, 8 million children have been born to families who needed the help.

Gottheimer has several bills he’ll introduce for protection. One of these measures is the ‘Securing Access To Fertility Everywhere,’ or SAFE act to protect doctors and patients from prosecution. The ‘Right To Build Families Act’ ensures access to the treatment. He wants Roe V. Wade codified as a national law, and ‘The Freedom To Decide Act’ to protect women’s access to contraception.

The congressman is proposing legislation to protect families, doctors and medical facilities from prosecution involving any IVF treatment and the right for women to have access reproductive care and contraception. He also wants to make Roe v. Wade a national law.

“We are making one thing clear to them that so fast. We will protect reproductive freedom. We will protect women’s rights. We will protect IVF. We will protect moms and dads and modern medicine and healthcare,” Gottheimer said.

The congressman plans to bring those bills to the floor in the next few days.

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