Alabama governor signs bill protecting IVF into law: ‘Proud we are a pro-life, pro-family state’

Alabama governor signs bill protecting IVF into law: 'Proud we are a pro-life, pro-family state'

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed Senate Bill 159 into law on Wednesday evening, aiming to safeguard in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments. This legislative move followed a February ruling by the state Supreme Court, which prompted certain fertility clinics to halt their IVF procedures.

Senate Bill 159, characterized by bipartisan support, swiftly advanced through the state legislature, receiving widespread backing from lawmakers. Its enactment aims to provide a legal framework ensuring the resumption of IVF operations at clinics with confidence.

In a statement, Governor Ivey underscored Alabama’s commitment to nurturing a culture supportive of life, which includes facilitating IVF treatments. She expressed satisfaction in signing this crucial interim measure into law, recognizing the aspirations of couples in Alabama striving to expand their families through IVF.

The law seeks to shield medical professionals from civil and criminal liabilities in instances of unintended harm or loss of embryos. This response was prompted by a ruling from the state Supreme Court, which permitted three couples to pursue wrongful death claims following the loss of frozen embryos in a storage facility mishap.

The decision cited constitutional provisions allowing parents to seek redress for the death of a minor child, extending such protections to unborn children. Justice Jay Mitchell emphasized that unborn children deserve legal recognition, regardless of their developmental stage or physical location, echoing sentiments from a 2018 voter-approved amendment recognizing the rights of unborn children.

However, Justice Greg Cook dissented, arguing that applying the state’s Wrongful Death of a Minor Act to cover frozen embryos stretches the law’s original intent. Governor Ivey acknowledged the complexity surrounding IVF issues, hinting at the need for further legislative action. Nevertheless, the immediate priority was to offer reassurance to fertility clinics, enabling them to promptly resume services.

Governor Ivey emphasized Alabama’s supportive stance toward growing families through IVF, reaffirming the state’s pro-life and pro-family values. Alabama Fertility, one of the affected clinics, expressed readiness to resume IVF treatments following the law’s enactment, underscoring the immediate impact of the legislative intervention.

Effective immediately and with retroactive application, the law provides a legal framework to safeguard IVF procedures, addressing concerns raised by the recent court ruling and ensuring the continuity of fertility treatments in Alabama.