Casey and McCormick react to IVF ruling as GOP tries to dodge blame for own actions

Reproductive Rights Rally

Reproductive Rights supporter holding a Planned Parenthood sign in front of the Pennsylvania Capitol on Oct. 2, 2021. (Photo: Sean Kitchen)

By Sean Kitchen

February 26, 2024

Last week’s Alabama Supreme Court decision banning in vitro fertilization has Republicans backtracking on previous statements about reproductive rights. 

A recent Alabama Supreme Court ruling stating that frozen embryos are considered children under an 1872 law and the state’s 2018 constitutional ban on abortion has Republicans scrambling for a coherent message after they spent decades working on overturning reproductive rights. 

The Alabama court’s ruling effectively bans women from using in vitro fertilization (IVF), a popular procedure for women who have trouble conceiving, to start a family, and the effects of that ruling are starting to seep into Pennsylvania’s upcoming Senate race between US Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) and Republican challenger Dave McCormick. 

Democrats are using this ruling as an opportunity to remind voters about the US Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson ruling which overturned Roe and a woman’s fundamental right to seek an abortion.

“This dangerous decision would not be possible without the Dobbs ruling,” US Sen. Bob Casey said in a statement on Friday. 

“Republican politicians wiped away a nearly 50-year right and now we’re seeing the devastating consequences. Women are being sent away from hospitals to get sicker before they can be treated and now Alabama women who desperately want a family are unable to get the care they need to conceive.”

Last week’s ruling has Republicans across the country attempting to dodge blame for their own party’s actions that have caused a domino effect in restricting further rights for women.. 

“IVF is a ray of hope for millions of Americans seeking the blessing of children. I oppose any effort to restrict it,” McCormick’s campaign said in a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Friday.

McCormick’s statement is a sharp contrast to what the senate candidate said in 2022 following the overturning of Roe. McCormick was running for the Senate against Dr. Oz in the Republican primary at the time

“First, I am pro-life. I believe life begins at conception through natural death. I believe and support court rulings and legislation that makes abortion less prevalent in our country and ultimately moves us in a direction where there isn’t abortion,” McCormick said in a 2022 interview with right-wing media outlet Brietbart. 

Then at a May 2022 debate between Oz and McCormick, McCormick praised the leaked Dobbs decision. 

“It’s a huge victory for the protection of innocent life. It’s a huge step forward. It also pushes the decisions down to the state level and voters, where they should be,” McCormick said. 


  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

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