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So far, Illinois’ Republican congressional delegation is silent on IVF

Monday, Feb 26, 2024 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Washington Post

Prominent congressional Republicans are coming out in support of in vitro fertilization days after the Alabama state Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos are people and therefore that someone can be held liable for destroying them.

But many of the same Republicans who are saying Americans should have access to IVF have co-sponsored legislation that employs an argument similar to the one the Alabama Supreme Court used in its ruling.

The congressional proposal, known as the Life at Conception Act, defines a “human being” to “include each member of the species homo sapiens at all stages of life, including the moment of fertilization or cloning, or other moment at which an individual member of the human species comes into being.” The bill would also provide equal protection under the 14th Amendment “for the right to life of each born and preborn human person.”

The measure has no provisions for processes like IVF, meaning access to the procedure would not be protected. It would ban nearly all abortions nationwide.

* National Review…

* The US House bill in question, the “Life at Conception Act,” was co-sponsored last year by all three Illinois House members, Reps. LaHood, Miller and Bost.

I’ve reached out to all three, some of them multiple times, and haven’t yet heard back about where they stand on IVF.

Bost, of course, is being challenged by fellow Republican Darren Bailey, who has positioned himself to Bost’s right. Bailey’s campaign has also so far remained silent when asked about the candidate’s stance on IVF.

Maybe this post will knock something loose.

Any thoughts?


  1. - Amalia - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 1:21 pm:

    the silence is interesting as their overlord has already said he disagrees with the Alabama theocracy.

  2. - DuPage Saint - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 1:21 pm:

    Maybe they say nothing because they have nothing intelligent to say about it.

  3. - Henry Francis - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 1:23 pm:

    I wouldn’t expect to hear anything from the Republican delegation on this topic because (1) it is a nuanced issue and they don’t do nuance and (2) much of it is dependent upon acceptance of scientific facts and they don’t accept scientific facts.

  4. - James - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 1:28 pm:

    If a person holds a true pro-life stance, you cannot support IVF. It’s quite a trick bag.

  5. - TheInvisibleMan - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 1:32 pm:

    They are silent for one of two reasons; because they are either in complete agreement, or recognize the evangelical religious right have gained so much power in government their usefulness in office is only as good as their complete fealty.

    We’re already well into theocracy. It’s just coming on so slowly it was hard to notice. If this was still an actual government, such a change to IVF would have come with comparable changes to the tax code. It didn’t involve that, because that’s how the old government we lived under worked - and not how the new religiously centered one works.

    Theocracy doesn’t have to make sense. It’s only goal is power.

  6. - Steve Rogers - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 1:33 pm:

    Christian conservatives have argued for decades that life begins at conception. This Alabama ruling validates not only that subject, but takes it a step further to artificially induced conception.

    Now, they’re falling all over themselves (see Tommy Tuberville) to explain how it’s bad even though they’ve been arguing for it their whole political careers.

    It’s that old maxim: be careful what you wish for…

  7. - slow down - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 1:42 pm:

    This is like many of the big issues of the day. The Republican position is miles out of step with the American people and basic common sense so any response you receive will almost certainly be removed from the objective truth found in the bill they have each cosponsored.

  8. - TheInvisibleMan - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 1:45 pm:


    (that I made such a typo really bothers me.)

  9. - NIU Grad - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 1:47 pm:

    The irony of ironies is that the Alabama decision was based on plaintiffs trying to protect IVF…just in their own, theocratic way. They didn’t ban it, but they made every doctor involved terrified that they’ll be convicted of murder if just one embryo isn’t used.

    The Republicans have truly become the dog that caught the car. Most of them never realized that their talking points for years would ever become word of law.

  10. - New Day - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 1:49 pm:

    This is just the latest chapter in the saga of the dog that caught the car. The GOP fought to overturn Roe for forty years. Choice advocates warned of a variety of potential consequences should Roe fall. Turns out they weren’t imaginative enough. Even I didn’t think they would work so hard to criminalize women and their doctors, and create insane penalties for these people if, God Forbid, they leave their home red state for reproductive care.

    The consequences to real people have been horrendous and the IVF ruling is only the latest. And for the GOPers who insist they support IVF, they have a funny way of showing it, rejecting protections of the procedure in their attempt to declare that “life begins at conception.” Nikki Haley declaring the Alabama ruling correct and going further, saying that embryos are babies just proves the point. Republicans cannot be trusted on reproductive issues.

  11. - Jocko - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 1:51 pm:

    Speaking of being careful what you wish for…shouldn’t the patient who dropped the cryogenically frozen test tube in December 2020 (and brought the suit to the Alabama Supreme Court) be charged with murder?

  12. - OneMan - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 1:56 pm:

    I am curious when you are going to get the.
    “I support IVF, but you have to keep the unimplanted embryos around on ice forever or until they are implanted in someone.”
    Some would say that position isn’t ’supporting IVF,’ but it seems a way to thread the needle.
    It might make sense for Baley to say, ‘It’s life at cell division and must be treated that way.’ If you are him, that may be the position to take to try and pick off some ‘well Trump endorsed the other guy’ voters.

  13. - Palamite - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 1:56 pm:

    @Henry Francis

    ==(1) it is a nuanced issue and they don’t do nuance and (2) much of it is dependent upon acceptance of scientific facts and they don’t accept scientific facts.==

    To legitimately believe this you must have no self-awareness. It is a scientific fact that life begins are conception and to deny that is to deny science. It is also incredibly ironic to say that republicans don’t do nuance while making an egregious blanket assumption about them yourself.

  14. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 1:58 pm:

    Election results have not been kind to Republicans since Dobbs. The dog has caught the car, as it is said. Now some are scrambling away from anti-IVF. In Illinois the ILGOP was already a super-minority party before Roe ended. Coming out with an anti-IVF bill at this point would just keep the losses coming.

  15. - Appears - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 2:13 pm:

    The Republicans may support the IVF ban but are too scared to say so. They could lose votes. They would rather get everything they want put into law without the voters having any say.

  16. - Demoralized - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 2:16 pm:

    I’m surprise by their silence a little bit but maybe they think it doesn’t really make a difference in this state because Republicans will always lose to Democrats in Illinois if the argument surrounds issues of abortion and now IVF.

    Republicans elsewhere are falling all over themselves to say that they disagree with this ruling because Republicans know that when it comes to issues like this they are on the losing side. The majority of people have made their views well known on these issues.

  17. - Suburban Mom - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 2:19 pm:

    ===It is a scientific fact that life begins are conception and to deny that is to deny science.===

    Oooooh, look, another GOP stan confusing theological belief for science …

  18. - TheInvisibleMan - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 2:23 pm:

    –life begins are conception.–

    Life began, to the best of our knowledge, 3.7 billion years ago. It’s been one unbroken chain of life since then.

    I’m not interested in religious mumbo jumbo masquerading as science, pretending people have the ability to actually create life.

    Reproduction is not creating life, it is continuing existing life.

  19. - jackmac - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 2:26 pm:

    The next step following the Alabama Supreme Court decision to classify frozen embryos as people is for the “parents’ to claim them as dependents and use them as tax deductions.

    Let’s see how far that gets with the IRS.

  20. - ArchPundit - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 2:43 pm:

    ===To legitimately believe this you must have no self-awareness. It is a scientific fact that life begins are conception and to deny that is to deny science.

    And yet 40-50 percent of all fertilized eggs are miscarried. That there are live cells is a scientific fact. Whether undifferentiated cells deserve protection as a human being is based on opinions and religious beliefs that are not universal and it should be pretty clear since Dobbs that most think that’s a decision between a woman and her doctor.

  21. - Stormsw7706 - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 2:53 pm:

    I have no expectations from Republicans. They are in ghost mode on anything that has any level of thought, caring, or competence.

  22. - Save Ferris - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 2:55 pm:

    “It is a scientific fact that life begins are conception and to deny that is to deny science.”

    So, the joining of two already living cells is the start of life. But aren’t those cells already alive? Doesn’t that mean life begins before conception? How many murder charges are you going to charge for the gametes that go unfertilized? Going to be in the millions for men.

  23. - 47th Ward - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 3:11 pm:

    If Miller, Bost or LaHood need some free talking points about the Alabama case, they might start with this:

    The Judge in Alabama is protecting the state’s supply of liquid nitrogen so that Alabama can continue to use it in its gas chamber. As a Pro-Life Republican, I support this decision.

  24. - DMC - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 3:25 pm:

    I don’t like the sound of her voice, they said. They will never overturn Roe, they said.

  25. - Amalia - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 3:36 pm:

    DMC making me cry.

  26. - Candy Dogood - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 3:42 pm:

    I remember when Mitch McConnell stole a Supreme Court seat from being filled by President Barack Obama.

    I don’t care what a single GOP Congress person has to say about IVF. They are responsible for this. They have rooted for this. They have organized for this. They have created a condition in this country where victims of rape and child victims of rape are forced to carry their rapists child to full term.

    This is the Government they wanted. This is the bitter and hateful ideology they have spent decades insisting be imposed on the people of our country. I don’t care how loud their voices are, this is their fault and the idea that they’re going to do something to stop it is a bigger fantasy than Donald Trump being a moral man.

    To win elections they have sided with religious zealots, bigots, nationalists, and all manner of the roots of right wing domestic terrorism in this country and brought it to the forefront. They don’t get to take a step back now that they’ve succeeded in their decades long endeavor and say “Not like that.”

    Darren Bailey and Mike Bost are the least ****able congressional candidates in Illinois. They’d be wise to avoid any discussion related to sex on the campaign trail.

    Neither of them cares nor has ever cared about the reproductive rights of any woman that has ever existed. They don’t have a nuanced position on what degree women are property and we shouldn’t expect them to — they are basically in a race to see which least educated man in congress Southern Illinois wants to be represented by.

    The only way Darren Bailey will have a position on something like IVF is if he can figure out a way to make a campaign ad where he’s pulling a trigger about it. Like a real man.

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