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Supreme Court says abortion pill can stay on the market; IVF debate continues

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Reproductive rights are once again center stage in public discourse. While questions persist regarding access to the abortion pill mifepristone and in vitro fertilization (IVF), recent developments indicate that little has changed.

Here’s a comprehensive look at the current landscape:

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Center 53%

Right 15%

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Mifepristone access upheld

In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that mifepristone — the pill used in 60% of U.S. abortions — can remain accessible.

In the court’s opinion, Justice Brett Kavanaugh emphasized that doctors and advocacy groups lacked standing to sue because they were not directly impacted by mifepristone’s availability for others.

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The opinion acknowledged the plaintiff’s concerns but maintained that citizens and doctors cannot sue merely due to others’ engagement in certain activities.

IVF challenges and responses

While access to abortion pills remains intact, IVF is facing ongoing debate. Earlier this year, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos are legally considered children. The ruling temporarily halted IVF treatments while the state clarified reproductive laws to protect patients and doctors.

Democrats at both state and federal levels are advocating for laws to guarantee protections for IVF patients. However, these measures have encountered obstacles, sparking intense political messaging ahead of the upcoming election.

Differing perspectives

Senate Democrats argue that, given the overturning of Roe v. Wade two years ago, more must be done to enshrine IVF rights preemptively.

On the other hand, Republicans contend there are no restrictions on IVF, rendering new legislation unnecessary.

Notably, Southern Baptists, the country’s largest Protestant denomination, recently voted that women undergoing IVF should produce embryos only in line with their intended family size, contrary to common IVF practice.

Public opinion

According to the latest Gallup poll, 61% of Americans support access to mifepristone.

In the same poll, 82% of respondents believe there is nothing morally wrong with IVF. Across party lines, acceptance rates remain high with 89% of Democrats, 84% of independents and 72% of Republicans favoring IVF.

Both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump advocate for continued accessibility to IVF procedures.

About 1 in every 8 Americans said abortion is the most important issue for them ahead of the presidential election.

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Karah Rucker: REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS ARE BACK IN THE HEADLINES THIS WEEK.

WHILE THERE’S BEEN QUESTIONS SURROUNDING ACCESS TO THE ABORTION PILL MIFEPRISTONE – AND ACCESS TO IN VITRO FERTILIZATION – OR IVF –

NOT MUCH HAS CHANGED.

AS ACCESS TO BOTH REMAINS THE SAME –

AND AN OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF AMERICANS – ACROSS PARTY LINES – 

WANT TO KEEP IT THAT WAY.

IN A UNANIMOUS DECISION –

THE SUPREME COURT RULED MIFEPRISTONE – THE PILL USED IN 60% OF U.S. ABORTIONS – CAN REMAIN ACCESSIBLE.

JUSTICE KAVANAUGH WROTE THE COURT’S OPINION –

SAYING THE DOCTORS AND ADVOCACY GROUPS WHO SUED DIDN’T HAVE STANDING TO DO SO – BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT DIRECTLY IMPACTED BY MIFEPRISTONE BEING ON THE MARKET FOR OTHERS.

THE OPINION READ “We recognize that many citizens, including the plaintiff doctors here, have sincere concerns about and objections to others using mifepristone and obtaining abortions. But citizens and doctors do not have standing to sue simply because others are allowed to engage in certain activities— at least without the plaintiffs demonstrating how they would be injured by the government’s alleged underregulation of others.”

WHILE ACCESS TO ABORTION PILLS REMAIN INTACT –

THE ISSUE OVER IVF HAS HAD A TUMULTUOUS YEAR.

EARLIER THIS YEAR – THE ALABAMA SUPREME COURT RULED FROZEN EMBRYOS ARE CHILDREN – PUTTING A STOP TO THE TREATMENTS FOR A WEEK WHILE THE STATE QUICKLY WORKED TO CLARIFY ITS REPRODUCTIVE LAWS – PROTECTING IVF PATIENTS AND DOCTORS PERFORMING THE PROCEDURES.

THAT STATE RULING TRIGGERED A STRONG RESPONSE.

DEMOCRATS AT STATE AND FEDERAL LEVELS HAVE BEEN PUSHING FOR NEW LAWS THAT WOULD **GUARANTEE PROTECTIONS FOR THOSE WHO UNDERGO IVF TREATMENTS.

THOSE MEASURES ARE SO FAR FAILING TO ADVANCE – 

SPARKING A FRENZY OF POLITICAL MESSAGING AHEAD OF NOVEMBER’S ELECTION.

SENATE DEMOCRATS ARGUE TWO YEARS SINCE ROE VERSUS WADE WAS OVERTURNED – MORE NEEDS TO BE DONE TO ENSHRINE IVF RIGHTS AHEAD OF ANY POTENTIAL RULINGS THAT COULD RESTRICT IVF.

REPUBLICANS ARGUE THERE ARE NO RESTRICTIONS ON IVF – SO THERE IS NO NEED FOR NEW LEGISLATION OVER A NON-ISSUE.

SO HOW DO AMERICANS **FEEL ABOUT ACCESS TO IVF?

THE OVERWHELMING MAJORITY – OF DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS – ARE FOR IT.

BUT THERE ARE THOSE IN OPPOSITION MAKING THEIR VOICES HEARD.

“THE SOUTHERN BAPTISTS” – THE COUNTRY’S LARGEST PROTESTANT DENOMINATION – VOTED THIS WEEK THAT IF A WOMAN UNDERGOES IVF TREATMENT – SHE SHOULD ONLY PRODUCE HOWEVER MANY EMBRYOS SHE PLANS TO HAVE AS CHILDREN. COMMON IVF PRACTICE IS TO CREATE MANY EMBRYOS TO TRY AND CONCEIVE WITH.

 WHILE THE DELEGATION VOTED TO PUT IN PLACE IVF LIMITATION GUIDELINES FOR ITS MEMBERS –

NONE OF IT IS LEGALLY BINDING.

IN THE NEWEST GALLUP POLL –

61 PERCENT OF AMERICANS ARE **FOR ACCESS TO MIFEPRISTONE.

AND AN OVERWHELMING 82 PERCENT OF AMERICANS SAY THERE IS NOTHING MORALLY WRONG WITH IN VITRO FERTILIZATION.

WHEN SPLIT BY PARTY AFFILIATION –

THE ACCEPTANCE RATE REMAINED HIGH.

89 PERCENT OF DEMOCRATS, 84 PERCENT OF INDEPENDENTS, AND 72 PERCENT OF REPUBLICANS ARE FOR IVF.

PRESIDENT BIDEN AND PRESIDENT TRUMP HAVE BOTH SAID IVF PROCEDURES SHOULD REMAIN ACCESSIBLE FOR WOMEN –

AS ABOUT ONE IN EVERY EIGHT AMERICANS SAY ABORTION IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE FOR THEM AHEAD OF THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.