Idaho GOP Becomes Latest To Embrace Fetal Personhood, Threatening Access To IVF

The Idaho state capitol building is in the downtown area of Boise Idaho, IdahoÕs largest city with a population approaching 250,000. (Photo by: Don and Melinda Crawford/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

The Idaho Republican Party expanded its anti-reproductive health efforts last week during a party convention, affirming its support for the fetal personhood ideology and proclaiming that they oppose “the destruction of human embryos,” a reference to the common practice in in vitro fertilization treatments of creating more embryos than are needed, and discarding those that are not viable or are not used.

“We affirm that human personhood begins at the moment of conception and ought to be protected and cherished from that moment on,” the platform — obtained and published by Idaho Reports — reads. “We oppose all actions which intentionally end an innocent human life, including abortion, the destruction of human embryos, euthanasia, and assisted suicide.”

The sentiment expressed by the Idaho GOP has been a topic of debate and denial for many Republican lawmakers recently, including ones on the national stage. Senate Republicans blocked a Democratic effort to protect access to IVF nationwide last week, claiming to reporters — including TPM — that there is no real threat to IVF at the state level.

A similar dynamic has played out in Idaho. In fact, earlier this year, dozens of Idaho GOP lawmakers signed letters claiming that IVF was not under any legal risk in the state, according to the Idaho Capital Sun.

“After diligent inquiry, we have concluded there is no statutory obstacle to the continued offering of this important option to Idaho families,” the letters read. “In addition, we have reviewed pertinent case law from Idaho and federal courts to reach the conclusion there are no relevant court precedents which could foreseeably pose a challenge to the continued provision of IVF treatments in Idaho.”

But the Idaho GOP’s new platform suggests the opposite. It is yet another example of how the widely popular procedure is under threat. 

At the core of the issue is the concept of fetal personhood — a decades old, conservative belief that fetuses (and, in some cases, embryos) are people, with all the same rights as children or adults. Versions of this idea, which are deeply connected with the anti-abortion movement, have been coming up more frequently in political circles since the Dobbs decision.

Many versions of it — such as the one adopted by the Idaho GOP — clash with IVF. In IVF, patients often create more fertilized embryos than they will use as a part of the medical process because some embryos may turn out to be unviable. Often, leftover embryos are donated for medical research or destroyed, as storing them in facilities indefinitely could be quite expensive.

Currently, at least five states — Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas — already have language around personhood in state law, according to a tally by the legal and civil rights group Pregnancy Justice. And in 2024 alone, at least 12 states have introduced personhood bills that could give some of the same rights to embryos and fetuses that generally protect a person, according to a tally by the Center for Reproductive Rights. 

Idaho already has a total ban on abortion, and this year Idaho Democratic lawmakers have called on Republican lawmakers to introduce bills to protect access to IVF. 

State Democrat Rep. Brooke Green worked to come up with a bipartisan solution but told the Idaho Capital Sun that she did not make progress because her colleagues said there was “no need” for the law.

Green submitted House Bill 737 in March in an effort to make sure that “an embryo fertilized outside of the body using IVF [would] not be considered a diagnosable pregnancy until successfully implanted in the uterus of a woman.”

But it was a personal bill meaning it will not move forward in the state legislature. It is rather a statement in support of the cause, according to the Idaho Capital Sun.

Latest News

Notable Replies

  1. I wouldn’t want to get reproductive care for a high risk pregnancy in a state that regulates obstetrics care in non-medically appropriate ways.

    Why would you want the second rate doctors?

  2. You have to smell Idaho to believe it. Signed son grew up a few miles from their stink in another awful right wing dump known as Spokane Valley, WA. You should see the rightist stinker representative, Matt Shea, they regurgitated into Washington politics!

  3. They affirm nothing than they want power and control over everyone for anything.

  4. Because they don’t care unless it happens to them or theirs.

  5. I have family in Eastern Oregon. The closest hospital with a NICU was in Boise. Idaho’s stupidity doesn’t just affect crazy white supremiscists.

Continue the discussion at

43 more replies


Avatar for system1 Avatar for paulw Avatar for runfastandwin Avatar for ealleniii Avatar for richardinjax Avatar for tigersharktoo Avatar for jimtoday Avatar for musgrove Avatar for moreyampersand Avatar for fiftygigs Avatar for darrtown Avatar for slimjim33 Avatar for isakindamagic Avatar for gajake Avatar for timothytim Avatar for nobiru Avatar for uneducated Avatar for udubtec Avatar for evave2 Avatar for godwit Avatar for txlawyer Avatar for old_guru Avatar for timk Avatar for CaptainObvious

Continue Discussion
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: