Mike Rogers tries to distance Senate campaign from past attempts to ban IVF 

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

By Kyle Kaminski

February 26, 2024

Former US Rep. Mike Rogers says that he supports protecting access to in vitro fertility treatment—but his record of opposing reproductive care suggests otherwise.

MICHIGAN—Former US Rep. and US Senate candidate Mike Rogers has joined ex-President Donald Trump in claiming that he supports access to in vitro fertilization (IVF) after a recent Alabama Supreme Court ruling effectively banned the treatment for families across the state. 

But a closer look at Rogers’ voting record from his time in Congress shows that Rogers tried (and failed) on at least four separate occasions to pass federal legislation that would’ve had the exact same effect as the recent ruling in Alabama—only on a much larger, nationwide scale.

Here’s the deal:

Republican-led efforts to restrict abortion across the country resulted in a controversial ruling at the Alabama Supreme Court this month that found frozen embryos in test tubes are legally considered people, and that those who destroy them can be held liable for wrongful death.

The ruling has since caused healthcare providers across Alabama to to stop offering IVF treatment altogether, as well as stoked fears of a broader, nationwide push to restrict fertility care if Trump and anti-abortion Republicans regain control of the federal government in 2025.

“We’ve always known that, with the appointments that Donald Trump made to the United States Supreme Court, that IVF, that a woman’s ability to make her own decisions about her body and all the panoply of things that come from that were in jeopardy,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer explained to CNN. “So this Alabama Supreme Court ruling is a natural extension of that.”

On Friday, Trump tried to distance his presidential campaign from his record of railing against reproductive rights by claiming to support exceptions for IVF treatment, and calling on Alabama state lawmakers to pass new laws that would protect access to fertility care within the state.

And in Michigan, Rogers and other Republicans have deployed similar tactics—namely by trying to convince voters that they haven’t spent years trying to rip away access to reproductive care. 

“IVF has been critical to helping Americans grow their families and realize the blessing of life and parenthood. I oppose any and all efforts to restrict access to IVF—period,” Rogers posted to Twitter this week.

What’s the problem?

Rogers’ recent remarks simply don’t match his voting record. 

During his 14 years in Congress, Rogers lobbied for a nationwide abortion ban and repeatedly introduced federal legislation that would’ve restricted access to reproductive health care—including four bills that would’ve made IVF treatment illegal nationwide.

  • In 2005, Rogers co-sponsored a resolution called the “Right to Life Act” that sought to define human life and legal personhood as beginning at “the moment of fertilization.”
  • After that bill failed, Rogers co-sponsored another bill in 2008 that again sought to legally define personhood as beginning at the moment of conception—which would’ve provided frozen embryos with the same constitutional rights and protections as human beings.
  • Rogers tried again by co-sponsoring similar legislation in 2009 that sought to provide full constitutional protections for “the right to life of each born and preborn human person.” Like the others, the resolution was introduced but never received a vote.
  • In 2013, Rogers also co-sponsored legislation called the “Life at Conception Act” that, like the name implies, defined personhood as beginning “at the moment of fertilization.”

“We will see a lot of this,” Jeff Timmer, a former executive director of the Michigan Republican Party, posted to Twitter. “Mike Rogers repeatedly put his name on legislation as crazy and extreme as the Alabama case that would criminalize IVF. Now he’d love to pretend otherwise.”

Beyond IVF, Rogers has also made clear that he opposes abortion rights in Michigan—including voicing support for a near-total abortion ban and the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Rogers also told the Daily Mining Gazette that he wants to ban all federal funding for abortion care. 

And had he lived in Michigan instead of Florida in 2022, Rogers has also told reporters that he would’ve voted against Proposal 3 to cement the right to reproductive freedom—including abortion care—into the state Constitution, which passed with about 56% of the vote. 

Rogers’ congressional record is also littered with votes for anti-abortion bills—enough to earn him a nearly flawless score from The Family Research Council, an anti-LGBTQ hate group that masquerades as an “educational organization” to steer voters toward anti-abortion candidates.

What about the other candidates?

Rogers isn’t the only former Republican politician hoping to make a comeback in Michigan this year. Former Republican Congressman Peter Meijer, heir to the eponymous multi-billion-dollar grocery store chain, is also running in the Republican primary for Michigan’s open Senate seat. 

Unlike Rogers, Meijer hasn’t responded to the Alabama Supreme Court ruling. But his track record of opposing reproductive rights during his time in Congress offers some similar insights.

  • In 2021, Meijer co-sponsored legislation called the “Life at Conception Act” that sought to define personhood as beginning at conception and aimed to provide frozen embryos and fetuses with all the same constitutional rights and protections as human beings.

Meijer has also said that he supported the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, and also took it a step further—telling the Detroit News that he “does see a need for federal legislation to ban or restrict abortion” nationwide, with no exceptions for rape or incest. 

And when he was questioned on the topic again last year during an episode of PBS’ Off the Record, Meijer still refused to denounce the concept of a nationwide abortion ban—even after the vast majority of Michiganders voted to cement reproductive rights into the state Constitution.

While in Congress, Meijer also voted against the federal Women’s Health Protection Act, which aimed to create federal legal protections for both providers and patients of reproductive care.

“Rogers’ and Meijer’s extensive anti-choice records show that they are out-of-step with Michiganders,” Sam Chan, a Michigan Democratic Party spokesperson said in a statement. 

Grosse Pointe Park businessman and longshot Republican US Senate candidate Sandy Pensler has also made it clear that he opposes reproductive rights—claiming that he shares the same anti-abortion views as Trump and former President Ronald Reagan, and even once labeling the constitutional protections for reproductive healthcare set forth in Roe as “tyrannical.”

The statewide primary election is Aug. 6. The general election is Nov. 5. 

READ MORE: Michigan Republicans align against abortion in attempt to flip Senate seat

For the latest Michigan news, follow The ‘Gander on Twitter.

Follow Political Correspondent Kyle Kaminski here.


  • Kyle Kaminski

    Kyle Kaminski is an award-winning investigative journalist with more than a decade of experience covering news across Michigan. Prior to joining The ‘Gander, Kyle worked as the managing editor at City Pulse in Lansing and as a reporter for the Traverse City Record-Eagle.


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