A Bill Protecting IVF Access Is Passed by the Alabama House and Senate

(NewsSpace.com) – On Friday, February 16, the Alabama Supreme Court shocked the nation when it ruled in a pair of wrongful death suits that frozen embryos are considered children. The decision, which was based on an 1872 law, created a conundrum for in-vitro fertilization (IVF) specialists, some of whom immediately stopped offering the service for fear of being sued or charged with a crime. Following the ruling, lawmakers immediately went to work.

Despite the overall pro-life stance of Conservatives, many stand in support of IVF, which gives couples struggling with fertility the opportunity to start a family. The move sparked a lot of fierce debate among lawmakers, who furiously worked to craft legislation that would give IVF clinics and providers peace of mind. Still, there were arguments that the legislation was nothing more than a Band-aid and that a more permanent solution was needed.

In the state’s lower chamber, lawmakers voted 94-6 to pass the bill, with three abstaining. One of those abstentions came from state Rep. Arnold Mooney (R), who said he was “a conflicted human being about this” and said he doesn’t “know the right answer to where we are,” per POLITICO.

In the upper chamber, senators voted 34-0 to pass Senate Bill 159. Rep. Terry Collins (R) introduced the legislation in the state House, while Sen. Tim Melsen (R) sponsored the Senate bill. Both extend criminal and civil immunity to IVF providers and clinics. The protections are retroactive.

From here, a bill is expected to go to Governor Kay Ivey’s (R) desk, and she is expected to sign it within a matter of days.

US legislators in Congress are also trying to get ahead of the game and offer federal protections for IVF across the country. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) introduced legislation in the Upper Chamber, but the bill was blocked by Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), who called it a “vast overreach that is full of poison pills that go way too far.”

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