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Hirono, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Protect IVF Access After Alabama Supreme Court Ruling

WASHINGTON, DC – Following the Alabama Supreme Court ruling that frozen embryos are “children” under state law, U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) joined Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Patty Murray (D-WA), and more than 40 colleagues in cosponsoring the Access to Family Building Act. This legislation would protect access to in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and other assisted reproductive technology (ART) by establishing a statutory right to access IVF for all Americans who need it to start or grow a family.

“Since before the disastrous Dobbs decision, Republicans have constantly attempted to exert control over our lives and our bodies—and the Alabama Supreme Court ruling is yet another extreme attack on women and their reproductive freedoms,” said Senator Hirono. “I am proud to support this bill, which would protect the right to access IVF and other assisted reproductive technology, defending the rights of families and safeguarding this important resource.”

Specifically, the Access to Family Building Act would:

  • Establish a statutory right for an individual to access, without prohibition or unreasonable limitation or interference, assisted reproductive technology services, such as IVF, and for a healthcare provider to provide ART services;
  • Establish an individual’s statutory right regarding the use or disposition of their reproductive genetic materials, including gametes;
  • Allow the Department of Justice to pursue civil action against any state, government official, individual or entity that violates protections in the legislation; and
  • Create a private right of action for individuals and healthcare providers in states that have limited access to ART.

In addition to Senators Hirono, Duckworth, Murray, this legislation was also cosponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Laphonza Butler (D-CA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tom Carper (D-DE), Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Dick Durbin (D-IL), John Fetterman (D-PA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobucher (D-MN), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Ed Markey (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Jon Ossoff (D-GA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jon Tester (D-MT), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Mark Warner (D-VA), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Peter Welch (D-VT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

The full text of the legislation is available here.

A long-time champion for reproductive rights, Senator Hirono is committed to protecting the fundamental right to reproductive health care for all. In November 2023, Senator Hirono joined 6 of her Democratic, female colleagues in holding a press conference to respond to the recent election of anti-abortion extremist Mike Johnson (R-LA) as Speaker of the House. At the press conference, the senators reaffirmed Democrats’ unshakeable commitment to protecting abortion rights and sent a clear message that Johnson must put aside any extreme tactics and partisan policy riders when it comes to abortion—or any other issue—so that Congress can responsibly fund the government and tackle the other pressing challenges our nation is facing. In October 2023, Senator Hirono joinedletter urging the Biden Administration to require federally and state-regulated health insurance plans to fully cover over-the-counter contraceptives, including Opill—the first-ever FDA-approved over-the-counter birth control pill, which will become available in early 2024—with no copays or out of pocket costs, and without a prescription requirement. A total of 48 Senators signed the letter. In July 2023, Senator Hirono introduced the Reproductive Health Patient Navigator Act to help women–including those in anti-abortion states–access reproductive health care.