Vanity Fair broke the news that Don Bolduc wants to ban IVF treatments – a medical procedure used by countless women seeking to become pregnant. In response to a question on banning this medical procedure, Bolduc said, “I am not going to say no, right?…I don’t like that practice [of discarding embryos] at all.”
His latest comments come after he said that, “as a man,” he believes that reproductive decisions should be left to Republican “gentlemen” lawmakers.
In response, Senator Hassan released the following statement:
“Once again, we’re witnessing Don Bolduc’s extreme opposition to a woman’s fundamental rights. His stance against IVF—which has helped countless people who are struggling to start families—is just the latest example of Bolduc seeking to allow politicians like himself to disrupt decisions that should be between a woman, her loved ones, and her doctor. It is clear that Don Bolduc will not stop until abortion, IVF, and other reproductive medical procedures are banned in New Hampshire and across the country.”
Read Vanity Fair’s reporting here or below:
Vanity Fair: Republican Senator Candidate Don Bolduc Calls Embryo Disposal “Disgusting Practice,” Leaves Door Open on National Ban
By Abigail Tracey
[…] Republican Senate candidate Don Bolduc called the disposal of embryos for in vitro fertilization “a disgusting practice” and didn’t rule out supporting a national ban on the procedure, during a campaign event earlier this week, according to an audio recording obtained by Vanity Fair. “I don’t like that practice [of discarding embryos] at all,” Bolduc, who is running to unseat New Hampshire senator Maggie Hassan, added.
Bolduc made the comments in conversation with an undercover Democratic operative during a Portsmouth Republican Committee’s Meet the Candidates event Monday. The operative, posing as a conservative supporter, asked Bolduc whether he was aware that fertility clinics dispose of embryos, characterizing it as “a pretty disgusting practice.” Bolduc agreed, repeated the characterization, and when asked about the “possibility of a national ban” on the practice, waffled.
“Put it this way, I am not going to say no, right?…’Cause I have said no, no on an abortion ban at the federal level,” Bolduc said. “But these other things, we’ve got to look into them…I don’t like that practice at all and I think it’s a separate issue and we’ve got to do something about it.”
“It’s in the same ballpark, it’s in the same ballpark, yeah it’s in the same stadium,” Bolduc added. During IVF, doctors collect and fertilize eggs from patients, determine which embryos are most suitable for implantation in the uterus and either freeze or discard the remaining embryos. Bolduc’s campaign did not respond to Vanity Fair’s request for comment.
Bolduc, a far-right candidate who has adopted fringe positions such as questioning whether the FBI should be abolished and floated unfounded claims that Donald Trump won the election, does not back a 15-week federal abortion ban, but did support Roe v. Wade being overturned. He has said that Hassan “needs to get on board with the Supreme Court decision.” Hassan, who holds a sizable lead against him in the polls, has used Bolduc’s abortion record against him on the campaign trail, namely that she believes he would vote for a federal ban on abortion if elected to office. Moreover, Democrats have warned that the end of Roe could cascade into many other restrictions on reproductive rights, over contraception and fertility practices like IVF—something Bolduc appears to have signaled an openness to at the campaign event.
“Once again, we’re witnessing Don Bolduc’s extreme opposition to a woman’s fundamental rights. His stance against IVF—which has helped countless people who are struggling to start families—is just the latest example of Bolduc seeking to allow politicians like himself to disrupt decisions that should be between a woman, her loved ones, and her doctor,” Senator Hassan said in a statement. “It is clear that Don Bolduc will not stop until abortion, IVF, and other reproductive medical procedures are banned in New Hampshire and across the country.”
Currently, abortion is legal in New Hampshire until 24 weeks of pregnancy, with exceptions for fatal fetal abnormalities and the life of the patient. IVF is currently legal in all 50 states. But GOP-aligned antiabortion activists have already put the fertility procedure on their hit list. Steve Aden, the chief legal officer for the anti-choice Americans United for Life, has characterized IVF as a form of “eugenics.” A number of Republican lawmakers have introduced bills that recognize “personhood” at the moment of fertilization, which could impact the disposal of unimplanted embryos. Such legislation has been proposed in Georgia, Iowa, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and South Carolina.
Reproductive-rights advocates and physicians also fear that right-wing lawmakers might target other practices, such as preimplantation genetic testing to determine the genetic health makeup of the embryo and fetal reduction in cases of multiple pregnancies, which can result in higher mortality rates.
As Seema Mohapatra, a health and ethics professor at Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law, explained to me, “Everyone that is following this battle definitely thinks personhood is the ultimate goal—defining fetal personhood at conception seems to be the goal.”