Goldman introduces federal bill to protect IVF, women’s reproductive rights

Rep. Dan Goldman outside in day time speaking at a news conference. He supports the Access to Family Building Act
Congressman Dan Goldman supports the Access to Family Building Act, a federal bill aimed at protecting women’s access to in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments.
File photo/Dean Moses

U.S. Rep. Dan Goldman (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn) has entered the ring in the fight to protect in vitro fertilization (IVF) with the introduction of the Access to Family Building Act on Monday.

Goldman announced the bill alongside U.S. Rep. Susan Wild (D-Pennsylvania). They are the latest in a slew of elected officials, mostly Democrats, who are introducing and supporting legislation to protect the right to use in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and other fertility treatments. 

The push to protect IVF has been ongoing since an Alabama Supreme Court ruled last month that embryos are considered children — a move that further endangers access to reproductive healthcare and family planning in the United States. 

Goldman and Wild introduced the Access to Family Building Act in an attempt to establish a federal right to access IVF and other assisted reproductive technologies (ART) services. Such a federal law would block any state push to limit IVF or criminalize doctors who provide the treatment. 

Goldman said the federal act would supersede Alabama’s state ruling, “ensuring that women across the country retain the right” to use IVF or other ART services. He also alluded to the reversal of Roe v. Wade in 2022 as a catalyst for political movements that “go after” reproductive freedoms. 

“Republicans’ war on women did not end with the Dobbs decision, and the Alabama Supreme Court’s recent ruling made it abundantly clear that they will go after all reproductive freedoms in their effort to attack women’s bodily autonomy,” Goldman said. “They want to force women who do not want children to have them and prevent women who desperately want a family from being able to. IVF is a lifeline for families facing infertility and Congress must ensure that it remains accessible to hopeful parents nationwide.” 

About the Access to Family Planning Act

The centerpiece of the Access to Family Planning Act would establish a statutory right for a person to access IVF and similar treatments, and for doctors to provide these services—all without any prohibition, unreasonable limitation or interference. 

The law would also permit federal civil action against any state, government official, individual or similar entity that violates the new protections, and create a “private right of action” for individuals and healthcare providers in states that have limited access to ART services.

Other New York politicians supporting IVF protection

Goldman has taken many pro-abortion stances in recent months. Last week, he announced the Abortion Care Awareness Act, a mostly informational bill designed to increase access to medically accurate information about abortion and medication.  

And in 2023, he co-sponsored the Women’s Health Protection Act, which establishes a federal right for “healthcare professionals to provide abortion care and the right for their patients to receive care, free from bans and medically unnecessary restrictions that single out abortion care,” according to Goldman’s office. 

But Goldman is not the only New York elected official working to protect IVF locally and throughout the country. U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, the state’s junior senator, supports the Access to Family Building Act and is calling for it to turn into official federal law.

Gillibrand told New York Family earlier this month that the Alabama court’s ruling “strips away some of our most fundamental reproductive freedoms,” adding that it could have “extreme” implications nationwide, including in New York. 

“It will make it harder for women to access infertility treatments, put doctors at risk of legal action and establish a dangerous precedent that may be used by conservative courts to issue similar rulings in other states,” she said.

Other Democrats across the country support IVF protection, as do some Republicans, including U.S. Senator Markwayne Mullin — a Republican from Oklahoma who has been on record saying the Alabama ruling is “not the position of the Republican party.”