UNANIMOUS CONSENT REQUEST--S. 3612 (Executive Calendar)

Congressional Record Vol. 170, No. 36
(Senate - February 28, 2024) PDF

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?

Mrs. HYDE-SMITH. Reserving the right to object.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Mississippi.

Mrs. HYDE-SMITH. Madam President, I support the ability for mothers 
and fathers to have total access to IVF in bringing new life into the 
world. I also believe human life should be protected. These are not 
mutually exclusive.

Let's be clear about what the Alabama case is about. This was a case 
brought by families whose human embryos were killed when an 
unauthorized individual walked into the fertility clinic through an 
unsecured door, removed several human embryos, and dropped them, 
causing their deaths.

The court's holding in favor of the parents found that these frozen 
human embryos are children under Alabama law. It did not ban IVF, nor 
has any State banned IVF.

The bill before us today is a vast overreach that is full of poison 
pills that go way too far--far beyond ensuring legal access to IVF. The 
act explicitly waives the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and would 
subject religious and pro-life organizations to crippling lawsuits.

Religious and pro-life organizations could be forced to facilitate 
procedures that violate their core beliefs, including their health 
insurance plans. This would be the first time the bipartisan Religious 
Freedom Restoration Act introduced by then-Representative Chuck Schumer 
was explicitly waived.

The bill's expansion definition of ``artificial reproductive 
technology'' sweeps in much more than IVF and has far-reaching 
implications. It would legalize human cloning. It would legalize 
commercial surrogacy, including for young girls without parental 
involvement. It would legalize gene-edited designer babies and lift the 
Federal ban on the creation of three-parent embryos. It would legalize 
the creation of human-animal chimeras. Other developed countries like 
Germany, New Zealand, and Australia, as well as States like Louisiana, 
have policies that allow for IVF coupled with commonsense protections 
to respect human life.

Creating rights to human cloning, the genetic engineering of human 
embryos, and surrogacy is too extreme and goes far beyond IVF. This 
bill misses the mark.

We should strive to do both, and this bill does not do that. 
Therefore, I object.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The objection is heard.