CA GOP Lawmakers Voice Support For IVF Amid 2024 Election Fervor

CALIFORNIA — Some of California’s congressional Republicans distanced themselves Friday from the controversial Alabama Supreme Court ruling that frozen embryos should be considered children. The lawmakers released statements amid GOP turmoil over the decision — and during an election year in which all 52 Golden State congressional seats are on the ballot.

The California legislators who issued statements fell in line with former President Donald Trump, who urged the Alabama legislature to preserve access to in vitro fertilization in the aftermath of the ruling.

The posturing shows the GOP is straddling a difficult line between staunch pro-life supporters and Americans who support fertility treatments. Case in point: Trump’s Republican opponent, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, said Wednesday in an interview with NBC News, “Embryos, to me, are babies.” A day later she flipped, telling CNN, “Alabama needs to go back and look at the law.”

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Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Corona) dismissed IVF restrictions of any kind.

“Strong families are critical to our country’s future and I believe we should be doing more to help mothers who want to start a family, not less,” Calvert said. “IVF is a miracle that has opened the door to parenthood for many where it would have otherwise not been possible. I do not support restrictions on IVF of any kind at the federal, state or local level and urge lawmakers to come together to ensure these life-giving treatments are available.”

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Calvert has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1993. He narrowly won his 2022 reelection bid in the newly drawn 41st district that now includes some heavily Democratic cities.

Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Cypress) is in a tough reelection fight with four challengers in the 45th District, which was carried in 2020 by President Joe Biden.

“As someone who struggled to get pregnant, I believe all life is a gift. IVF allowed me, as it has so many others, to start my family,” Steel said on X. “I believe there is nothing more pro-life than helping families have children, and I do not support federal restrictions on IVF.”

Rep. Young Kim (R-Anaheim Hills) is fending off two Democratic challengers in the 40th District. On Friday, she showed her support for IVF on X.

“IVF brings hope to so many women facing infertility, including in my family. Women struggling to get pregnant are hurting enough — restricting IVF makes no sense,” she wrote. “As a mom & grandma, supporting moms, babies, & families is personal to me.”

During IVF, eggs are collected from ovaries and fertilized by sperm in a lab. One or more fertilized eggs — embryos — are then transferred to a uterus. Not every fertilized egg survives. Some are not implanted.

In Alabama, several clinics have paused IVF services over fear of legal repercussions though on Friday the state attorney general’s office said it has “no intention” of prosecuting families or fertility providers.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, many GOP lawmakers have tried to avoid right-to-life issues and/or have reframed their positions to appeal to moderate voters. It’s unclear what impact Alabama’s IVF decision might have in an election year.

Out of 52 California congressional districts, only 11 are currently held by Republicans.

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