Whitney Fox calls for federal protections for IVF, while blasting Anna Paulina Luna for ‘cowardice’
Image via Whitney Fox for Congress.

Whitney Fox
'Tampa Bay residents can trust that when in Congress, I’ll fight tooth and nail to protect their rights and access to reproductive health care.'

Congressional candidate Whitney Fox is calling on Congress to pass legislation protecting access to in vitro fertilization (IVF) after Senate Republicans this week blocked legislation that would have protected access.

The issue made national headlines after the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that families who lost embryos as a result of an accident at a clinic where they were being stored could sue the clinic for wrongful death of a minor child. As a result, several IVF clinics in the state paused services out of caution, leaving people struggling to have children in limbo.

“I just can’t imagine the frustration and pain that some families are going through right now,” Fox said in a written statement. “This decision — driven by extremists — is exactly why WE MUST protect women’s reproductive freedoms here in Florida and across the country.”

Fox went on to criticize a common refrain among Republicans that abortion policy should be left to states to determine, something that is now an option since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

“Leaving such crucial matters to individual states is what led to the current restrictive environment in Alabama,” Fox said. “This is a dangerous precedent. Once we give up one freedom and we don’t fight back — it doesn’t stop there.”

Fox also put the U.S. Representative she hopes to unseat on blast.

“Sadly, my opponent doesn’t believe in protecting IVF nationally. She says it should be left to the states. This is unacceptable. Tampa Bay residents can trust that when in Congress, I’ll fight tooth and nail to protect their rights and access to reproductive health care,” she said.

Anna Paulina Luna, who represents Florida’s 13th Congressional District, was originally listed as a co-sponsor on legislation to protect IVF access in the House. But she removed her name, arguing she was added to the bill “without confirmation,” according to The Washington Post.

Luna’s Office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, but she posted on X about it Wednesday after she removed her name from the bill, indicating that her removal from its list of sponsors, for which she was the only Republican, did not mean she opposed IVF access.

“There are amendments that need to take place before I decide to sponsor,” she wrote. “And thus, my team will be working to come to an agreement to get bipartisan legislation on the table.”

The issue has been a tough one for Republicans to juggle. On one hand, several are affirming their support for the fertility treatment, including former President Donald Trump. But others are reminding that supporting IVF and opposing abortion are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

“I support the ability for mothers and fathers to have total access to IVF and bringing new life into the world. I also believe human life should be protected,” said GOP U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, who objected this week to a vote by Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth on the IVF protection legislation.

U.S. Sen. Katie Britt, who represents Alabama, reportedly called on fellow Republicans to support IVF. Publicly, she said “defending life and ensuring continued access to IVF services for loving parents are not mutually exclusive.”

Others, such as U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz and Roger Marshall, have also publicly supported IVF while still opposing abortion.

View Fox’s statement on the issue here.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].

One comment

  • Dont Say FLA

    March 2, 2024 at 2:58 pm

    Florida’s 13th district House Rep Anna Paulina Luna was for her IVF bill before she was against it? And it hasn’t even moved out the House yet? And she removed her name from her own bill?

    Has she mistaken IVF for the border bill or did the House GOPs get Told By Trump to shut down the IVF bill like the border bill??

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