Republican-controlled Alabama House passes bill to protect IVF

By Thomson Reuters Feb 29, 2024 | 1:49 PM

(Reuters) – Alabama’s Republican-led House on Thursday voted to advance a bill aimed at protecting the IVF 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.

An identical bill filed by a Republican state senator awaits a vote in the Senate, which is also Republican-controlled and could take up the measure on Thursday.

If passed by both chambers and enacted, the legislation would protect IVF providers from both criminal charges and civil lawsuits.

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.

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

(Reporting by Julia Harte; Editing by Nia Williams)