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(LifeSiteNews) – Only four members of the U.S. House of Representatives signed a letter sent Wednesday to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) objecting to its recently announced expansion of in vitro fertilization (IVF) services to unmarried service members, indicting the uphill battle pro-lifers face in getting even Republicans to make the pro-life case on the issue.

Last week, the VA under the Biden administration announced that it “will offer IVF benefits to qualifying Veterans regardless of marital status” and allow them to use donor sperm, eggs, or embryos, a reversal of old rules that limited IVF to married service members whose military service led to a health condition making them infertile but still capable of producing their own eggs or sperm.

On March 20, U.S. Reps. Josh Brecheen of Oklahoma, Bob Good of Virginia, Mary Miller of Illinois, and Matt Rosendale of Montana sent a letter to VA Secretary Denis McDonough objecting to the policy.

“IVF is morally dubious and should not be subsidized by the American taxpayer,” they write. “It is well known that IVF treatments result in a surplus of embryos after the best ones are tested and selected. These embryos are then frozen — at significant cost to the parents — abandoned, or cruelly discarded. Parents’ uncertainty of what to do with the additional embryos and inclination to leave them frozen for many years rather than discarding them points to their inherent humanity. The new VA policy is shocking not only on a moral level, but on a political and legal level as well.”

The lawmakers are asking the department what its plans are for the surplus embryos, how many it has already destroyed or frozen and how many more it anticipates meeting the same fate, for details on their storage and its cost, what the new policy will cost, where it found the legislative authority for the expansion, and why if it already had lawful authority did the announcement note that the VA has “for years” been “submitting repeated legislative proposals to expand IVF services.”

“We appreciate some of the steps that the VA has taken to help veterans who are unable to have children, specifically providing for reimbursement of adoption expenses,” the letter notes, adding that it “would make more sense to use the funds that the expansion of IVF will cost to bolster adoption efforts at the VA (…) The VA must focus on providing world-class healthcare and benefits to veterans, not trying to remake the nuclear family.”

IVF has dominated the national conversation for weeks now, with Democrats attempting to stoke fears that it is on the verge of being banned ever since the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that because frozen embryos are children under the law, their accidental destruction can be grounds for wrongful death lawsuits. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall soon confirmed he had no intention of prosecuting IVF clinics based on the ruling, and the state legislature overwhelmingly passed legislation protecting the industry.

But the IVF process is fraught with ethical peril, as it entails the conscious creation of scores of “excess” embryonic humans only to be killed and human lives being treated like commodities to be bartered over. It has been estimated that more than a million embryos are frozen in storage in the United States after IVF, and that as many as 93% of all embryos created through IVF are eventually destroyed. A 2019 NBC News profile of Florida fertility doctor Craig Sweet acknowledged that his practice has discarded or abandoned approximately a third of the embryos it places in cold storage.

Pro-life activists hope, and pro-abortion activists fear, that the Alabama ruling could force the beginning of conversations about expanding recognition and protection of the preborn to those created and discarded by IVF. Yet lawmakers like the four signatories to the March 20 letter are the exception in the GOP. Many Republicans, including former President Donald Trump and the National Republican Senatorial Committee, have rushed to declare their support for IVF, fearing the political ramifications of being branded as opposing the practice.

Pray for an end to IVF and the protection of human embryos: Join our prayer pledge