Florida Senator Vows To “Always Protect IVF” in New Ad, One Day After Voting Against IVF Protection Bill

By: Alex Trent | Published: Jun 17, 2024

Florida Senator Rick Scott is getting slammed online for releasing a campaign ad promising to “always protect IVF” one day after voting against a bill that would guarantee rights for in vitro fertilization.

Commenters online accused the Senator of lying given his recent vote. His ad even received a community note on the social media platform X pointing out the Senator’s hypocrisy.

Scott’s Post

On X, Republican Senator Scott posted a 30-second video for his campaign going over his credentials as a family man and grandpa that allow him to support IVF.

A tweet from Florida Senator Rick Scott showcasing a campaign ad.

Source: scottforflorida/X

“Each of my 7 grandkids is a precious gift from God. But sometimes families need help. You can count on this grandpa to always protect IVF,” Scott wrote in the X post above the video.


Expanding Families

The video features a narration by Scott himself and happy piano music playing over scenes of Scott interacting with his family and grandkids.

A person sits down and plays the keys of a piano.

Source: Jordan Whitefield/Unsplash

“My wife Anne and I have two daughters and seven perfect grandkids…Millions of babies have come into this world through IVF…in fact, our youngest daughter is receiving IVF treatments right now hoping to expand her family,” Scott’s narration said.

IVF Must Be Protected

In his campaign ad, Scott did not mention any nuanced reason why he would not support IVF in some circumstances. The ad overall gives the impression that Scott is doing everything he can to protect IVF.

An instrument in a lab used for IVF.

Source: Dr.jayesh amin/Wikimedia

“She and I both agree, that IVF must be protected, for our family and every family. I’m Rick Scott, the grandpa who approved this message,” Scott said.

What is IVF?

IVF stands for in vitro fertilization. In vitro fertilization is a series of medical procedures with the goal of inseminating an egg with sperm outside of the womb before being transplanted back into the mother.

A woman works in an IVF laboratory.

Source: Galina Formina/Unsplash

It’s one of the best ways to get around common fertility problems that couples have and can also be used to prevent passing on problematic genetic issues to children.

Republicans on IVF

Recently, Republicans have been criticized for their stance on reproduction and IVF following the overturning of Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court and a decision in Alabama that threatened IVF in the state.

A close up of President Donald Trump's face whith a slight smile.

Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia

In the wake of these developments, many Republicans have gone out of their way to declare their unabashed support for the procedure, including former President Donald Trump.


Tricky Issue

Many Republicans take a pro-life stance that involves believing life “begins at conception.” This view complicates supporting IVF since the conception in this case happens outside a human body and raises ethical questions of whether stored embryos are entitled to personhood rights.

A pregnant woman wearing a gray shirt holds her belly in front of a light window

Source: BGStock72/Canva

Because of this conflict, many critics of Republicans doubt the authenticity of the recent outpouring of full-throated defenses of IVF by Republicans in an election year.


Democrat Bill

This doubt among Democrats seems to have been confirmed after a Democratic bill was blocked by Senate Republicans that would guarantee a woman’s right to IVF.

The U.S. Capitol seen in the daytime underneath a blue sky.

Source: Elijah Mears/Unsplash

The “Right to IVF Act” was voted against by most Republicans, including Florida Senator Rick Scott, which drew particular criticism online in the wake of his pro-IVF ad.


Reaction to Scott’s Ad

The comments underneath Scott’s post were flooded with those calling out the Senator’s hypocrisy.

A tweet by Victoria Brownworth expressing displeasure for Rick Scott.

Source: VABVOX/X

“You voted against IVF yesterday, Senator. Did you forget? Fortunately we have the Congressional Record for members of Congress with memory issues,” said X user Victoria Brownworth in a post that got over 14,000 likes.


Bold Faced Liar

Other users accused Scott of trying to gaslight Americans after releasing an ad that seemed to be such a 180 position to his recent voting record on IVF.

The official portrait for US Senator from Florida Rick Scott.

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia

“Didn’t you vote against protecting the right to IVF??? Are you just a bold faced liar? Nevermind- it’s a rhetorical question…” said X user Martina Navratilova.


Defending Scott

Some commenters defended Scott’s actions, accusing the Democrat bill of not being what it was advertised and that his no vote on it doesn’t equate to being anti-IVF.

An IVF center that specializes in in vitro fertilization treatments.

Source: Cloudnine Hopstials

“Did he vote to limit IVF or put restrictions on it? If not, what’s your point?  His vote did not harm or hinder access in any way,” said X user Ben Dempsey.


Mixed Messaging

There is a public perception that Republicans have had decidedly mixed messaging on reproductive issues like IVF. Some of this perception comes from pro-life religious groups who have been applying pressure on the issue. The Southern Baptist Convention recently voted on a measure to formally oppose in vitro fertilization.

Protestors hold up signs declaring that pro-life equals pro-science.

Source: Maria Oswalt/Unsplash

“There is a consistent belief, as our chair has already stated, that we believe that life begins at fertilization and is to be honored and cherished and protected at all stages, no matter the stage of development, nor location,” said Southern Baptist Resolutions Committee adviser Jason Thacker at a press conference.