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Rosendale pushes spending amendment that declares IVF ‘morally wrong’

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Many national Republicans have been trying to reassure voters that they’re not working to curb reproductive rights, especially when it comes to in vitro fertilization. Rep. Matt Rosendale is complicating that in the House.

The Montana Republican has proposed an amendment to a measure funding the Pentagon that describes IVF as “morally wrong.”

“While I feel for couples that are unable to have children, the practice of IVF is morally wrong, and I refuse to support any legislation that condones its use,” Rosendale said in a statement. “If you are opposed to abortion, you should be opposed to the practice of IVF.”

The House Rules Committee is currently mulling which amendments to consider as part of floor debate on the defense spending bill, so the amendment from the retiring Montana conservative may never get a vote. He’s floated similar amendments on other bills without securing floor action.

However, Rosendale’s effort is a stark break from most elected Republicans. All Senate Republicans issued a rare joint statement voicing support for IVF access — though they later opposed advancing a Democratic measure to enshrine that into law. Former President Donald Trump has also said he “strongly support[s] the availability of IVF for couples who are trying to have a precious baby.”

Generally, Republicans have struggled to iterate a straightforward policy position on the practice, which presents moral, medical and legal quandaries. Many conservatives are torn between their desire to help parents deal with infertility and their belief in fetal personhood, and have struggled to articulate exactly which laws and policies should govern that area of health care.

Alice Miranda Ollstein contributed to this report.