Texas Sen. Ted Cruz files bill to protect IVF

With some Republican states restricting access to in vitro fertilization, Texas Senator Ted Cruz has filed a new bill in support of it.

Cruz and fellow Republican Katie Britt of Alabama filed the IVF Protection Act on Monday.

The bill would make states that ban IVF ineligible to receive Medicaid funding.

The proposed legislation comes as states grapple with where IVF fits into anti-abortion laws.

Earlier this year, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos should be considered unborn children and anyone who destroys them can be charged with unlawful death.

Since the ruling, the Alabama Legislature passed some protections for IVF clinics.

The Texas Supreme Court could soon take up a case out of Denton that could decide the future of IVF treatment in the state.

The case argues that Texas' anti-abortion law requires embryos to have the same rights as children.

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Cruz and Britt called their bill "pro-family" and "affirms both life and liberty."

"Our bill doesn’t impede states from setting up health and safety standards to govern IVF, nor does it compel any individual or organization to provide IVF against its wishes or beliefs. It simply ensures that access to IVF is fully protected by federal law, as there is currently no such federal law in place," the senators wrote.

Cruz is not the only Texas leader to express doubt about how the abortion law applies to IVF.

Governor Greg Abbott told CNN earlier this year that he wants it to be easier for families to have children, not harder.

"These are very complex issues where I’m not sure everybody has really thought about what all the potential problems are and as a result, no one really knows what the potential answers are. And I think you’re going to see states across the country come together grappling with these issues and coming up with solutions," Abbott said.

Ted Cruz's November opponent, Democrat Colin Allred, said that it is the abortion law that Cruz supports that is putting IVF at risk for Texas families.

"Let's be clear, Ted Cruz's long-standing support for an extreme ban on abortion which is now threatening IVF is why we are here," Allred said in a statement. "Cruz brags about his long record of working to take away reproductive freedom, including supporting extreme personhood legislation and opposing exceptions for rape, incest and unviable pregnancies."

In 2021, 86,146 infants born in the U.S. were conceived through the use of assisted reproductive technology like IVF, according to Health and Human Services.