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Kaine Announces Elizabeth Carr as State of the Union Guest

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, announced that Elizabeth Carr will join him as his guest at Thursday’s State of the Union address. Carr was the first person in the United States born via in-vitro fertilization (IVF). She was born in Norfolk, Virginia in 1981.

Carr’s attendance at the State of the Union follows a ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court that has already led to restricted access to IVF in Alabama. The ruling sparked a push by federal lawmakers to pass the Access to Family Building Act, legislation cosponsored by Kaine to protect access to IVF and other assisted reproductive technology services.

“I’m thrilled to have Elizabeth Carr joining me at the State of the Union. The Carr family’s journey with IVF is a point of pride for Virginia and has given hope to generations of families struggling with infertility,” said Kaine. “In the wake of the Alabama Supreme Court’s ruling, it’s more important than ever that we commit to protecting access to IVF services nationwide. We must work to safeguard IVF so the Elizabeth Carrs of the world can continue to be born.”

“I am honored and humbled to be able to attend the State of the Union address with Senator Kaine as a representative of how far IVF technology has come in this country—and not just as the first IVF baby in this country, but also as someone who understands deeply just how many people in-vitro has helped build the family of their dreams,” said Carr.

After three ectopic pregnancies, Carr’s parents became patients of a groundbreaking IVF initiative started by Doctors Howard and Georgeanna Jones at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk. This IVF initiative would eventually become the Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine.

Kaine has been a vocal advocate for reproductive freedom in Congress. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Roe v. WadeKaine worked across the aisle to introduce the Reproductive Freedom For All Act, a bipartisan bill to codify the essential holdings of Roe and related cases protecting women’s rights to access abortion and contraception. Kaine has also cosponsored the Veteran Families Health Services Act of 2023, legislation that would expand the fertility treatments and family-building services covered under servicemembers’ and veterans’ health care.