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Tags: alabama | kay ivey | ivf | bill

GOP-Controlled Ala. Legislature Passes Bill to Protect IVF

Thursday, 29 February 2024 04:10 PM EST

Alabama's Republican-led Legislature on Thursday passed a bill aimed at protecting the in vitro fertilization industry after the state Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos should be considered children, prompting at least three Alabama providers to halt the fertility procedure.

The bill passed the Senate 34-0, with one member abstaining, after passing the House by a vote of 94-6.

Gov. Kay Ivey, a Republican, has signaled that she will support the legislation. If signed by Ivey, the legislation would protect IVF providers from both criminal charges and civil lawsuits. It was unclear when the measure would reach Ivey's desk.

The Feb. 16 Alabama Supreme Court ruling left unclear how to legally store, transport, and use embryos; and some IVF patients sought to move their frozen embryos out of Alabama.

Republicans nationwide have scrambled to contain backlash from the decision by the Alabama Supreme Court, whose elected judges are all Republican. Democrats have seized on it as more evidence that reproductive rights are under assault.

The Alabama Legislature passed the bill the day after a similar effort to protect the IVF industry at a federal level was stymied in Congress.

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., on Wednesday blocked an effort by Democrats to rush through federal legislation that would guarantee access to IVF treatments and facilities without fear of prosecution, while also shielding IVF providers and health insurance companies.

IVF involves combining eggs and sperm in a laboratory dish to create an embryo for couples having difficulty conceiving.

The Alabama high court issued its ruling in response to three families' lawsuits against a fertility clinic and hospital for failing to properly safeguard their frozen embryos, resulting in their destruction when a patient improperly accessed them.

The ruling was based on the state's 2018 Sanctity of Life Amendment approved by voters that supports "the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children."

On Friday, the Alabama Attorney General's office said it had "no intention" of prosecuting IVF providers or families who use their services.

© 2024 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


Politics
Alabama's Republican-led Legislature on Thursday passed a bill aimed at protecting the in vitro fertilization industry after the state Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos should be considered children, prompting at least three Alabama providers to halt the fertility procedure.
alabama, kay ivey, ivf, bill
333
2024-10-29
Thursday, 29 February 2024 04:10 PM
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