February 29, 2024

USCCB Urges Congress to Oppose IVF and ART Bills

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is urging Catholics to contact their Members of Congress to oppose bills and resolutions that claim to protect rights to in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other assisted reproductive technologies (ART).

After largely misunderstanding a recent ruling by the Alabama State Supreme Court, many members of Congress – including those who consider themselves pro-life – are in a rush to impose a new national “right” to IVF and other technologies. While the need to accompany and support the increasing number of families struggling with infertility is real, in reality IVF and ART threaten preborn human lives and turn people into property.

ART includes not only IVF but commercial surrogacy, gene editing, reproducing children of deceased parents, chimeras, cloning, and more. Many of these practices exploit vulnerable women and commodify both them and their children. Many are also illegal in some states, but state laws would be overridden by a new federal law.

The bills include the Senate’s “Access to Family Building Act” (S.3612) and the pending House resolution “Expressing support for continued access to fertility care and assisted reproductive technology.” S.3612 in particular would unprecedentedly override the bipartisan Religious Freedom Restoration Act, threatening faith-based hospitals, charities, schools, and churches that don’t enable or cover ART, and could even apply to minors.

Tragically, IVF causes the death or abandonment of millions of children. IVF and related technologies have also been associated with increased health risks for mothers and children. It is most certainly not pro-life.

As four USCCB committee chairmen wrote in a February 28 letter to Congress, "The often-painful experience of infertility is a challenge facing an increasing number of families. As pastors, we grieve with many couples bearing this cross and seek to be part of a community that accompanies them in a way that helps them to flourish in love. In this, we can understand the profound desire that motivates some of these couples to go to great lengths to have children, and we support morally licit means of doing so. The solution, however, can never be a medical process that involves the creation of countless preborn children and results in most of them being frozen or discarded and destroyed."

For additional resources, see the USCCB’s page on ART and the U.S. bishops’ 2009 statement on reproductive technology.

Please tell your members of Congress to oppose bills and resolutions that claim to protect these problematic rights to IVF and ART that cause the death of countless human lives and violate human dignity. To contact your Senators and Representative, please click below:

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Thank you for speaking up to protect the lives of vulnerable preborn children.

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