Lankford Pushes to Fight Infertility, Prioritizing Restorative Reproductive Medicine

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) introduced legislation to support genuine solutions to infertility and empower couples with autonomy over how they build their families. The Reproductive Empowerment and Support through Optimal Restoration (RESTORE) Act would work within existing federal programs to expand access to restorative reproductive medicine for the nearly 11 percent of women and nine percent of men affected by infertility. 

“Infertility is one of the most difficult challenges couples can face, and most Americans have either faced or know someone who is facing the difficult journey to have a baby. IVF is an incredible scientific advancement that allows families to bring life into the world, but IVF is very expensive and shouldn’t be the only option available to families. The RESTORE Act prioritizes addressing underlying causes of infertility to help families to bring the miracle of life into the world,” said Lankford.

“I strongly support treatments such as IVF, which have helped so many families experience the miracle of life. Healing the actual causes of infertility will only help increase the success rate for couples trying to conceive. It’s time that we look at paying serious attention helping women and couples affected by infertility by treating the underlying conditions that make it hard, if not impossible, to have a baby,” Hyde-Smith said. “The RESTORE Act would focus federal resources toward promoting research on the leading causes of infertility, while making information on possible treatments more readily available to the women and men struggling with fertility problems. There is no question how heartbreaking it can be for couples challenged by infertility, and I believe we can do more to help couples trying to conceive get the care they need to understand and proactive treat the underlying conditions that cause infertility.” 

Additional original cosponsors include Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA).

The legislation is intended to bring greater focus on reproductive health conditions such as endometriosis, adenomyosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, uterine fibroids, blocked fallopian tubes, hormone imbalances, hyperprolactinemia, thyroid conditions, ovulation dysfunctions, and other health conditions that are leading causes of infertility and painful menstrual cycles.

The RESTORE Act would:

  • Promote educational tools for women seeking information about reproductive health conditions and restorative reproductive medicine;
  • Provide training opportunities for medical professionals to learn how to better diagnose and treat reproductive health conditions.
  • Direct the Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary and the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health to conduct data collection and implement ongoing reports to assess the access women have to restorative reproductive medicine and infertility care through proper testing, diagnosis, and treatment of reproductive conditions.
  • Use existing funding opportunities in Title X and HHS Office of Population Affairs to promote medical training for medical students and professionals called to help women struggling with reproductive health conditions and infertility.

The legislation is supported by the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists Action, the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Heritage Action for America, Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, American Family Action Network, Family Research Council, March for Life, Family Policy Alliance, Christian Medical and Dental Associations, Eagle Forum, US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Students for Life Action, and Americans United for Life.

The legislation also contains strong religious and conscience protections. Lankford introduced the Conscience Protection Act to protect health care providers and insurance plans from government discrimination if they decline to participate in abortions.