LANSING, Mich., March 18, 2024 — State Reps. Samantha Steckloff (D-Farmington Hills) and Penelope Tsernoglou (D-East Lansing), Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, medical professionals, students and community members held a roundtable discussion today on the topic of reproductive rights and fertility freedoms, including ensuring the right to in vitro fertilization (IVF). Among the topics discussed was access to fertility health care, an issue with which Steckloff and Tsernoglou have personal experience.

“It was an honor to meet with the lieutenant governor and members of our community to discuss this crucial legislation. As we’ve seen with the fall of Roe v. Wade, there’s confusion and concern about the future of reproductive rights, including IVF, and with the recent ruling in Alabama, today’s meeting was unfortunately one of urgent necessity, and a critical step forward in the fight for fertility healthcare freedoms and reproductive rights in Michigan,” Steckloff said.

After the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos used for in vitro fertilization have the same rights as living children, providers and patients alike were met with confusion and fear. Michigan Democrats have introduced legislation to protect access to IVF, in addition to lifting the ban on surrogacy contracts, so that Michiganders have the full range of options when deciding how to start or grow their families. The bills moved out of Senate committee last week, they are expected to go to the Senate floor for a vote this week, and then soon move to the governor’s desk for her signature.

“This roundtable was a great opportunity to engage with and hear people’s personal stories. Having directly benefited from IVF myself, I understand the importance of these treatments to many people in our community, and was glad I could share with others why this fight means so much to me and to all Michiganders. We recognize the fundamental right to grow a family, and so we’re uniting in this fight to keep these essential services accessible and legal,” Tsernoglou said.