The Corner

Politics & Policy

Judge Barrett and the IVF Non-Issue

Judge Barrett’s opponents keep claiming that her confirmation to the Supreme Court would pose a threat to in vitro fertilization. The idea seems to be that legislatures could pass stringent regulations, even prohibitions, on IVF, and Justice Barrett (and four other justices who have never uttered a peep about the issue) would let them.

What none of those raising this alarm ever note is that the Supreme Court has never explicitly declared that IVF has constitutional protection under its reproductive-rights jurisprudence. There’s no Roe or Griswold of IVF to overturn. The Supreme Court has never taken a case raising the question, for the simple reason that legislatures have not been passing laws against IVF. The opposition raises this issue so much because IVF is broadly popular, which is also the reason that it doesn’t need any protection from the Supreme Court in the first place.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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