(CNN) — For the past two weeks, since Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin uttered the phrase “legitimate rape,” Republicans have had to face questions about their attempts to end abortion.
But could these same attempts also outlaw in vitro fertilization?
The Republican Party’s platform states: “We assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed.”
Vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan was a co-sponsor last year of HR 212, the Sanctity of Human Life Act, which states that “human life shall be deemed to begin with fertilization.”
Similar legislation, known as “personhood” bills, has also been attempted at the state level. According to Resolve, the national infertility association, there are efforts to get personhood ballot initiatives in at least eight states this year alone.
Seven states tried to pass bills through their state legislatures this year, but all of them died in the legislature or never passed.
Crtitics say bills like these could also criminalize in vitro fertilization. Both the American Society of Reproductive Medicine and Resolve oppose personhood legislation.