Senator runs campaign ad about his daughter’s IVF — 24 hours after voting against it

Scott and all but two Republican senators have blocked legislation on IVF. Yet he spent seven figures this week on an ad that specifically talks about how he supports the procedure

Eric Garcia
Washington DC
Friday 14 June 2024 20:29 BST
Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) has touted his support for IVF despite voting against legislation that would have protected access to it. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) has touted his support for IVF despite voting against legislation that would have protected access to it. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

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A Republican Senator has spent seven figures on a campaign ad touting his support for in vitro fertilization — despite the fact that on Thursday, he voted against legislation that would have protected access to treatments.

Senator Rick Scott of Florida is running for re-election in Florida. He faces a somewhat competitive race against former Democratic congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell.

On Friday, he announced an ad touting his support and his personal connection to IVF. In the ad, he notes how he is a grandfather of seven grandchildren.

“But sometimes families need help,” he said. “Millions of babies have come into this world through IVF, in vitro fertilization. In fact, our youngest daughter is receiving IVF treatments right now hoping to expand her family.”

The ad is the Scott campaign’s second as part of a seven-figure statewide ad buy, according to the Scott campaign.

But Scott, along with almost every other Republican voted to block the passage of the Right to IVF Act, Democrats’ legislation to protect access to the fertility procedure. Only two Republican senators — Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — joined the Democrats to vote on the bill.

Scott and the 48 other Republican senators signed a letter saying they supported IVF and criticized Democrats, who they said are fearmongering about IVF.

“Senate Democrats have embraced the Summer of Scare Tactics — a partisan campaign of false fearmongering to mislead and confuse the American people,” the letter read. “In vitro fertilization is legal and available in every state across our nation. We strongly support continued nationwide access to IVF, which has allowed millions of aspiring parents to start and grow their families.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has staged a series of votes on legislation on everything from protecting access to contraception to access to IVF. Scott told The Independent last week that Schumer did so for campaign purposes and that his efforts at legislation “have no chance of passing”.

Senators Katie Britt of Alabama and Ted Cruz of Texas had proposed their own legislation on IVF, which Democrats opposed as insufficient.

“I think what you see is Democrats continuing to fearmonger on this very issue,” Britt told The Independent.

The vote comes after Alabama’s Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos are classified as children, which led to three of the largest IVF centers in the state pausing coverage. This was seen as a result of the overturn of Roe v Wade. The end of federal abortion rights led many to worry that access to contraception and to fertility treatments could be impacted, as they have been in Alabama.

Katie Hawkinson contributed to reporting

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