Alabama legislation advances legislation to protect IVF providers, with final approval still pending

(Mickey Welsh/Associated Press)

Alabama legislation advances legislation to protect IVF providers, with final approval still pending



March 5, 2024

Alabama lawmakers are facing public pressure to restart in vitro fertilization services in the state. Advanced legislation Tuesday to protect providers from the fallout of a court ruling that equated frozen embryos

to with


Committees in the Senate and House of Representatives have approved this


identical bills that would protect providers from lawsuits and criminal charges for the damage or death of an embryo during IVF services.

Lawmakers aim to give final approval and send the legislation to the governor on Wednesday. Kay Ivey is signed into law. We expect the IVF protection legislation to receive final approval this week and look forward to the governor’s signature, said Ivey spokesperson Gina Maiola. The state t

Three major IVF providers have halted services following the Alabama Supreme Court’s ruling last month that three couples whose frozen embryos were destroyed in a storage facility accident could face wrongful prosecution

death cases for their ectopic children. The ruling, where an embryo is treated in the same way as a child or a pregnant fetus under the tort law

the death statute, raises concerns about the civil liability of clinics.

The court’s ruling caused an immediate reaction.

while groups across the country raised concerns about a court ruling recognizing embryos as children.

Patients in Alabama shared stories of upcoming embryo transfers that were abruptly canceled and their path to parenthood thrown into doubt.

“What is this, ‘The Tale of the Handmaids’?” Inquiry into moral questions raised by controversial IVF ruling Lawmakers aim to give final approval and send the legislation to the government on Wednesday. Kay Ivey is signed into law. Lawmakers have fast-tracked immunity legislation as a proposed solution to getting clinics open again while they weigh whether additional action is needed.

Republicans in Alabama’s Republican Party-dominated legislature

look at the immunity proposal as a solution to the clinics’ concerns. But she

have pushed back on proposals that would address the legal status of embryos created in IVF labs.

Let’s restart IVF as soon as possible, Fertility Alabama, one of the providers that halted the services, wrote in a social media post urging support for the bill. Faced with backlash over frozen embryo ruling, Alabama lawmakers are looking for a solution. Beth and Joshua Davis-Dillard watched as the Senate committee voted. After moving from New York, the couple transferred frozen embryos from when they had their twins to Alabama. after moving from New York. We prepared to try again. We still have embryos from our last cycle, which we did in New York. We transferred them here. We can’t use them. We’re on hold, said Beth Davis-Dillard. I’m 44, so time is limited.” Beth David-Dillard Davis-Dillard said she feels “very helpless and very frustrated” and in a “little bit of disbelief.” She said that before transferring the embryos to Alabama, the couple briefly discussed whether the state’s strict abortion ban or political climate might be a problem, but assumed it would work out in the end. It just feels like our rights are being limited, she said. The legislative proposals state that “no action, suit or criminal prosecution for the injury to or death of an embryo should be brought or maintained against any person or entity in the provision or receipt of services in connection with in vitro fertilization. Civil lawsuits could be filed against manufacturers of IVF-related goods, such as the nutrient-rich solutions used to grow embryos, but damages would be capped and criminal charges would be prohibited. Doctors have expressed concern that without some protection for manufacturers, they will not be able to get the products they need for IVF.

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine, a group that represents IVF providers across the country, said the legislation does not go far enough.

Sean Tipton, a spokesman for the organization, said Monday that the legislation does not solve the fundamental problem, which he said is the court ruling confusing fertilized eggs with children.

Democrats in the House of Representatives have proposed legislation

last week

stating that a human embryo outside the uterus cannot be considered an unborn child or human being under state law. Democrats argued that this was the most direct way to address the issue. Republicans have not put the proposal to a vote.

State Republicans are reckoning with an IVF crisis they helped create through anti-abortion language added to Alabama’s constitution in 2018. The amendment, which was approved by 59% of voters, says it is state policy to recognize the rights of unborn children. The phrase became the basis of the court’s ruling. At the time, supporters said it would allow the state to ban abortion if Roe vs. Wade would be undone, but opponents claimed it could confirm the personality of fertilized eggs.


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