Is Destroying An Embryo Murder? House Speaker Mike Johnson Won’t Say. | EUROtoday

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WASHINGTON — Is a frozen embryo a baby? And is destroying it homicide?

On Thursday, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) wouldn’t say.

“Look, I believe in the sanctity of every human life ― I always have ― and because of that I support IVF,” he mentioned in his weekly press convention when requested in regards to the difficulty.

Johnson mentioned there are “amazing” statistics about IVF, or in vitro fertilization, including that the expertise has been out there for the reason that Seventies and has led to eight million births within the United States. He mentioned he has “many close friends” who’ve “beautiful families” now due to IVF.

“It needs to be readily available,” he continued. “I don’t think there’s a single person in the Republican conference who disagrees with that statement.”

He by no means really answered the query.

IVF is a scorching subject on Capitol Hill after this month’s Alabama Supreme Court ruling {that a} frozen embryo is a baby with equal rights underneath the state’s wrongful demise legislation. The choice was seemingly geared toward curbing extra abortion rights, but it surely has resulted in fertility clinics throughout the state halting IVF therapies as a result of they don’t need to danger a lawsuit for discarding unused embryos.

IVF is vastly fashionable, with one latest ballot exhibiting greater than 80% of respondents in assist of fertility-related procedures. A whopping 2% of all infants born in America are the results of IVF, and 42% of adults say that they’ve used fertility therapies like IVF or know somebody who has, per a Pew Research Center survey final 12 months.

And herein lies the issue for Johnson and House Republicans: Dozens of them are co-sponsors of laws to outline “human being” to incorporate “all stages of life, including the moment of fertilization, cloning, or other moment at which an individual member of the human species comes into being.” Their invoice, the Life at Conception Act, doesn’t make exceptions for IVF.

In different phrases, Republicans have already quietly been pushing the concept an embryo is a baby and, by extension, that destroying one is akin to homicide. They simply weren’t anticipating the Alabama case to thrust IVF into the nationwide highlight, and now they’ll’t clarify how they concurrently imagine that life begins at conception and likewise assist IVF.

They have painted themselves into this nook.

Johnson is amongst 125 co-sponsors of the House invoice. So are a variety of weak Republicans working for reelection who undoubtedly don’t need to appear to be a risk to IVF within the coming months.

GOP Reps. Don Bacon (Neb.), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (Iowa), David Schweikert (Ariz.) and Michelle Steel (Calif.) are amongst these up for reelection in swing districts. They are all co-sponsors of the present or a earlier model of the Life at Conception Act. And they’re all now making public statements in robust assist of IVF — regardless of that stance being straight contradicted by their co-sponsorship of the laws.

“I was on Meet the Press Now and made clear that I support IVF,” Bacon tweeted final week.

“As a physician and mother, I support these treatments,” Miller-Meeks tweeted.

“I will oppose any effort to restrict it,” Schweikert tweeted.

Interestingly, Steel tweeted that she benefited from IVF to start out her circle of relatives, after which mentioned that she does “not support federal restrictions on IVF.” But she is co-sponsoring laws stating that life begins at conception and making no exceptions for IVF, which actually appears like a gap for federal restrictions on it.

Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Calif.) said that she does "not support federal restrictions on IVF." But she is a co-sponsor of federal legislation to define life as beginning at conception, with no exceptions made for IVF.
Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Calif.) mentioned that she does “not support federal restrictions on IVF.” But she is a co-sponsor of federal laws to outline life as starting at conception, with no exceptions made for IVF.

Bill Clark through Getty Images

In the Senate, Republicans have the same invoice defining life as starting at conception. however it makes an exception for IVF: “Nothing in this Act shall be construed to require the prosecution of any woman for the death of her unborn child, a prohibition on in vitro fertilization, or a prohibition on use of birth control or another means of preventing fertilization.”

Still, GOP senators can’t say in the event that they assume a frozen embryo is a baby, both.

“I don’t want to say they’re not children,” Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) advised reporters Tuesday. She mentioned she helps IVF, although.

Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) mentioned she thinks it’s “reasonable” to imagine that life begins at conception, however famous that the Bible doesn’t say this. She steered that Alabama might tweak its legal guidelines to specify that an embryo is a baby with rights as soon as it’s inside a lady’s uterus, however not when it’s frozen in a tank.

“I think there’s a difference,” Lummis mentioned. “That’s, I think, a fairly reasonable distinction between the two.”

But she, too, made clear that in any case, she helps IVF.

“Whatever is concluded, we desperately want to protect in vitro fertilization,” she mentioned.