….Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) last week spearheaded a letter signed by three of his GOP colleagues to the Department of Veterans Affairs calling IVF “morally dubious” and saying that current IVF practice results in embryos being “abandoned, or cruelly discarded.” And Rep. Kat Cammack (R-Fla.) introduced a resolution that praises IVF but also calls for “state legislative and regulatory actions to establish health, safety, and ethical standards for medical facilities offering assisted reproductive technologies.”

Some states are also moving in the advocates’ preferred direction. In Kansas, the state House on Wednesday approved legislation allowing courts to issue child support orders from the moment of conception.

“There’s no question there were people running for the hills at first and in a panic mode,” said Bob Heckman, a Republican strategist who works with anti-abortion organizations. “But that seems to be dying down, and I think there’s genuine, real desire to figure out what’s the best way to do this.”

Still, there are reasons to suspect that changing the national discourse on IVF — even over a generation — will be much tougher than the fight to end abortion rights. Opposing abortion served as a sort of release valve for evangelicals in the era of the Moral Majority and conservative social panic about the rise of the women’s and gay rights movements in a way anti-abortion advocates acknowledge IVF doesn’t today.

“Abortion is synonymous with destruction. IVF is synonymous with the possibility of life and family,” said Andrew Walker, associate professor at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary who is debating bringing a resolution on IVF at the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting this summer. “There’s a bumper sticker that says, ‘Abortion stops the beating heart.’ For IVF, it would need to say something to the effect of, ‘Don’t freeze your neighbor.’ It’s not as visceral.”

Complicating matters, the Catholic Church and a growing number of evangelicals, like Walker, believe all IVF is wrong because it separates conception from the sexual act between husband and wife. It’s a theological position even some conservative evangelical denominations may consider a bridge too far.

“My position is an extreme minority. I do think the likely position that a lot of individuals will land on — and I think, hypothetically, where Republicans could land on — is tighter regulations,” Walker said. “We’re not immediately speaking in terms of moral black and white. IVF is far more in shades of moral gray. There’s a higher degree of moral sophistication in explaining the problems with IVF than there is with abortion.”

Mary Ziegler, a professor of law at the University of California, Davis and the author of several books about abortion, doubts whether advocates will have the patience to take the same approach with IVF that they did with abortion 50 years ago.

“Incrementalism, which used to be the byword for smart anti-abortion strategy, has become a dirty word,” Ziegler said. “It’s unclear if the movement will have the patience to play the long game in the same way because the expectations and demands have come to feel very different.”

From Politico