Trump Finally Breaks His Silence on Alabama IVF Decision

Seth Herald/Reuters
Seth Herald/Reuters

As Republicans scramble to navigate this week’s Alabama Supreme Court ruling jeopardizing access to in vitro fertilization, former President Donald Trump finally weighed in on the issue on Friday.

In a Truth Social post, Trump urged the Alabama state legislature to “act quickly to find an immediate solution to preserve the availability of IVF in Alabama,” emphasizing that the “Republican Party should always be on the side of the Miracle of Life - and the side of Mothers, Fathers, and their Beautiful Babies.”

“IVF is an important part of that,” Trump said.

“We want to make it easier for mothers and fathers to have babies, not harder! That includes supporting the availability of fertility treatments like IVF in every State in America,” Trump wrote in his post. “Like the OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of Americans, including the VAST MAJORITY of Republicans, Conservatives, Christians, and Pro-Life Americans, I strongly support the availability of IVF for couples who are trying to have a precious baby.”

On Thursday, President Joe Biden’s campaign sought to hang this ruling around Trump’s neck, suggesting that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade—which Trump has taken credit for—was an integral step in now taking away IVF.

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“Tonight Donald Trump will come face to face with the horrific reality he created: speaking in a state that has banned abortion entirely with no exceptions for rape or incest,” Kevin Munoz, a spokesperson for Biden’s campaign, said in a statement to POLITICO. “... Next door in Alabama, couples who face challenges becoming pregnant are cruelly being denied the right to start a family.”

While Trump took days to respond to the IVF decision, seemingly feeling out the politics, he ultimately appeared to see how bad the politics could be for him and Republicans.

His sudden defense of IVF also follows his GOP opponent, Nikki Haley, initially agreeing with the Alabama ruling—even though she conceived her son through artificial insemination (which is different from IVF in that fertilization occurs within the woman’s body but is a different only in gradations for some of the most hardcore anti-abortion activists).

In an interview with NBC News shortly after the ruling, Haley offered general praise for the Alabama decision.

“Embryos, to me, are babies,” Haley said. “When you talk about an embryo, you are talking about, to me, that’s a life. And so I do see where that’s coming from when they talk about that.”

But later on CNN, Haley backtracked and denied ever “agreeing” with the Alabama decision. She said she thinks “the court was doing it based on the law, and I think Alabama needs to go back and look at the law.”

Trump, while the highest profile Republican to come out in support of IVF following the decision, is hardly the first—showing just how toxic the GOP believes this decision could be for them in the upcoming election.

Earlier on Friday, the National Republican Senatorial Committee sent a memo, which was obtained by The Daily Beast, to their candidates urging them not to voice support for the Alabama Supreme Court decision.

“There are zero Republican Senate candidates who support efforts to restrict access to fertility treatments. NRSC encourages Republican Senate candidates to clearly and concisely reject efforts by the government to restrict IVF,” the memo reads.

A handful of Republican Senate candidates—including Kari Lake in Arizona, Ohio candidates Bernie Moreno and Matt Dolan, and Tim Sheehy in Montana—voiced their support for IVF on their social media platforms Friday, essentially attempting to get out ahead of Democratic attacks.

Still, Democrats are certain to argue that this is the latest consequence of the GOP position on abortion. And even if Trump and other Republicans castigate the ruling, it could still be a critical election driver in 2024—just as it was in 2022.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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