IVF Will Resume in Alabama

Lawmakers pass bill to protect it, which governor signs
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2024 12:30 AM CST
IVF Will Resume in Alabama
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey delivers the State of the State address at the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024.   (The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)

Alabama moved quickly to protect in vitro fertilization following the controversial state Supreme Court ruling that declared embryos children in the eyes of the law. The decision resulted in several IVF clinics halting the procedure, but the GOP-dominated state legislature swiftly passed a bill aimed at granting IVF legal protection Wednesday, and Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signed it moments after it arrived on her desk, NBC News reports. She called it an "important, short-term measure" that she hopes will lead to IVF clinics resuming services "immediately," AL.com reports. It grants health care personnel who provide IVF treatment immunity from civil or criminal liability.

Ivey also, however, acknowledged it's a "complex issue," and the state senator who sponsored the bill says he expects lawmakers will need to revisit it as the situation continues to evolve. But this bill, now law, should at least allow clinics to reopen, he said. Democrat lawmakers had warned the bill did not directly address the issue of embryos in storage having—or not having—the legal status of children, but the state representative who sponsored the House version of the bill says it was the "best solution" for now. The University of Alabama at Birmingham Health System, one of the places that had halted IVF, said Wednesday night it will resume services "promptly," as did Alabama Fertility, but UAB indicated caution, saying it would continue to assess developments. (More Alabama stories.)

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