Britt leans into family issues and the border during GOP response to State of the Union


Alabama Republican Sen. Katie Britt focused her Thursday response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on family-focused issues, including one that’s been giving her party some heartburn as of late: in vitro fertilization.

Following an Alabama Supreme Court ruling last month that embryos created via IVF are people, Biden used his remarks to Congress to call for nationwide protections for IVF. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) has a bill to protect the fertility technology at the federal level, but Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) recently blocked a request to unanimously pass it.

“Don’t keep this waiting any longer. Guarantee the right to IVF,” Biden said to the chamber. “Guarantee it nationwide.”

Britt, 42, declared in her speech that Republicans “want to give you and your children the opportunities to thrive and we want families to grow,” saying that her colleagues “strongly support continued nationwide access to in vitro fertilization.”

She did not, however, express support for any specific legislation designed to protect IVF at the federal level. Some Republicans have argued that decisions on IVF access should be left to individual states.

Britt also used the spotlight party leaders gave her as the GOP’s State of the Union responder to tackle family-oriented issues like childcare costs and the hurdles to buying a home. The party’s selection of Britt, a first-term senator viewed as a rising star, was partly aimed at showing a continued interest in sidestepping Democratic attacks over the IVF ruling.

Senate Democrats have hammered their Republican colleagues in recent weeks over access to the treatment. The issue has spilled onto the campaign trail as well.

But Britt didn’t just stick to family-centric issues. She dug into Biden hard on the border and crime — two issues Republicans are likely to hammer well into the election.

“President Biden inherited the most secure border of all time,” Britt said, speaking from a kitchen table. “President Biden’s border crisis is a disgrace. It’s despicable. And it’s almost entirely preventable.”

She also spoke about Laken Riley, a 22-year-old college student who was allegedly murdered by an undocumented immigrant in Georgia last month. Congressional Republicans have cast Riley’s killing as a prime example of the consequences of lax border policies.

During his remarks, Biden cited Riley by name in an unscripted moment and insisted the bipartisan border policy package negotiated by senators last month could be a solution to spiking migration.

“Tonight, President Biden finally said her name. But he refused to take responsibility for his own actions,” Britt said. “Mr. President, enough is enough. innocent Americans are dying and you only have yourself to blame. Fulfill your oath of office. Reverse your policies and this crisis and stop the suffering.”



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