I.V.F. Is a Miracle. For Republicans, It Is a Land Mine.

The grief of infertility can be all-consuming, but also hard to fully grasp for anyone who has blessedly never experienced it.

It is an unusual grief, a grief about lives not yet begun rather than lives that have come to an end. It often asserts itself most powerfully in moments of joy: the laugh of a toddler in a park, the smile of a mother-to-be at a baby shower. It can haunt you when you are living through it and stick with you even if the day comes where you are lucky enough to be called Mommy.

For years, I lived with that grief. Today, I am called Mommy. I am a person of faith, and I believe children are miraculous blessings. I am also of the mind that science is one way that miracles are made possible in this world. Even in the darkest of hours on my long journey to motherhood, hope existed for me and my husband in the form of in vitro fertilization.

As a result of the recent Alabama Supreme Court decision permitting would-be parents to sue for wrongful death over the negligent destruction of I.V.F.-created embryos, the hope and miracles that I was blessed to experience are at risk for families whose clinics have suspended treatments. To the extent that Alabama’s laws have now been interpreted in such a way that I.V.F. is at least temporarily unavailable, I am hopeful that policymakers in the state will take rapid action to put policies in place to protect it.

As a political pollster, I often give data-driven advice to elected leaders, warning of the consequences that could befall them if they do not carefully navigate contentious issues. While the latest debate over I.V.F. is a potential electoral land mine for Republicans, G.O.P. leaders from the House speaker, Mike Johnson, to Donald Trump have already gotten the memo — an actual memo was sent to Republican candidates — that I.V.F. is such a popular innovation that even a large portion of pro-life America finds it worthy of protection.

At the same time, you need not be a religious fundamentalist to consider the embryos produced by I.V.F. as having significant meaning, or the question of their disposition to be unbearably fraught.

Back to top button