The gift of life is beautiful. Democrats and Republicans must do more to protect IVF.

May 3, 2024

By Mike Lawler and Marc Molinaro

For any parent, some of the happiest moments in life are the days their children are born. As fathers, we know firsthand just how beautiful the gift of life is for all families, and the joy of holding your child is immeasurable. As members of Congress, we have sought to do all we can to make life easier for families by working to tackle persistent inflation, lower tax burdens, maintain a strong social safety net and encourage people to start families. That’s why we were so troubled to see a recent decision by the Alabama State Supreme Court that could rob families of ever being able to experience the joy of parenthood.

The decision forced clinics around the state to indefinitely pause access to IVF services for thousands of women. Doctors reluctantly made the decision until they could receive further clarification on what legal liabilities they and their patients could face when going through the IVF process.

While we were heartened to see Alabama’s House and Senate swiftly respond by passing bills to protect doctors and clinics that perform IVF, it remains unnerving that a single, out-of-touch state court was able to unilaterally muscle through these broad restrictions.

The ruling is especially outlandish when you consider how out-of-step it is with the views of a super-majority of Americans. One CBS News poll found that 86% of Americans believe IVF should be legal. And across the country, in red states like Kansas, Kentucky, and Ohio, voters are making it emphatically clear that they are opposed to more restrictions on women.

This watershed moment should be raising red flags for legislators at all levels of government and from both parties.

Unfortunately, it has not. This issue has been largely ignored, especially by members of our own party. We are done waiting. We believe, like most Americans believe, that women and families who choose IVF to bring life into this world should be protected.

That’s why we crossed party lines and became the first two Republicans to sign onto Democrat Rep. Susan Wild’s bill to federally protect IVF services.

Rep. Mike Lawler talks with his constituents during his Mobile Office Hours event at Haverstraw Village Hall Feb. 22, 2024.

This commonsense measure will statutorily protect IVF — precluding any court from forcing its views on IVF onto another woman or family. But supporting IVF protections is just the tip of the iceberg. We should also be doing more to support women and families. That’s why we championed the expansion of the Child Tax Credit in the recent bipartisan tax bill and are fighting to protect critical programs like WIC, which provides supplemental food, health care, and nutrition education for low-income women, infants and children.

We recognize and respect that each of us have different life experiences that shape our views on important issues and different circumstances that inform our decisions. But when it comes to IVF, we can’t let political affiliation get in the way of a commonsense policy that is so popular, and so personal for so many.

Rep. Marc Molinaro talks during a swearing-in ceremony in Saugerties, NY, on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2023.

We hope that by raising our voices, sanity will prevail, and more Republicans will back our effort.

Rep. Mike Lawler, a Republican, represents New York’s 17th District and Rep. Marc Molinaro, also a Republican, represents New York’s 19th District.