Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Alabama Republicans pledged to revisit IVF in hopes of a long-term fix. They never did.

By 37ci3 May18,2024



When the Republicans came in Alabama passed a law earlier this year to protect in vitro fertilization They introduced it as a temporary fix after a court order halted the treatment in a deeply conservative case.

They vowed to revisit the issue before the state Legislature adjourns and promised to work on the bill. Protect IVF For a long time, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that embryos are children a decision that caused a national uproar.

They never did.

A hard deadline for action came and went this year, as the GOP-controlled Legislature adjourned this week before its May 20 deadline.

After signing a bill to protect IVF in March, Alabama GOP Gov. Kay Ivey called it a “short-term measure” in a statement and said she expected “more to come.”

Republican state Rep. Terry Collins, the bill’s lead sponsor in the House, said during a floor debate before its final passage that after the legislation is passed, “we’ll have to look at it and see what we need to look at.”

“Should we consider the constitutional amendment and accept it in the next vote? Can we regulate this within the framework of our own laws and be satisfied?” he said at the time.

“My goal was to try to find some concessions,” Collins continued. “Then we can slow down, look at all the options and make the best decisions.”

“We’re looking at a lot of different ways to move forward, even this session,” he said.

The saga began when the state was conservative The Supreme Court has decided It causes embryos to be considered children in February of the state IVF clinics to terminate their services.

The decision sparked mass protests in Alabama and the United States. including a call from former President Donald Trump They are trying to get state legislators to come up with a solution to solve the problem “quickly.”

However, the draft law, which was hastily prepared and adopted by the lawmakers, did not cover any of the main questions arising from the court’s decision.

The a narrowly drafted billApproved with bipartisan support in both houses of the legislature, it is designed to protect doctors, clinics and other health care professionals who provide IVF treatments and services by offering such workers civil and criminal “immunity” from “any action, suit, or injury to an embryo or criminal prosecution for death shall be instituted or maintained against any natural or legal person when services related to in vitro fertilization are provided or received.

To the chagrin of many Republican and Democratic lawmakers, the legislation passed failed to define or clarify whether frozen embryos created through IVF have the same rights as children under state law.

Many of the bill’s Republican supporters said it was intended to serve as a short-term solution to allow closed clinics in the state to reopen.

“Getting the clinics open was our priority,” Collins said in one of his remarks on the floor.

But the adopted bill did not fully fulfill this.

Two of the state’s three largest IVF clinics said they were suspending their care will resume its services soon, a third — the Center for Reproductive Medicine at Mobile Clinic, a fertility clinic involved in the lawsuit that led to the Alabama Supreme Court ruling — said it would stop services. He said it would happen later completely stop IVF services at the end of the year for fear of future litigation.

Collins, as well as GOP leaders in the state Senate and state House, did not respond to questions about why Republicans never considered the issue in the 2024 session.

A spokeswoman for Ivey said her office will continue to monitor the situation.

“In March, following the Alabama Supreme Court’s ruling, the Alabama Legislature sought to pass legislation to help assure clinics in our state so they could resume IVF services, and the governor quickly signed the bill into law,” said an Ivey spokeswoman. Gina Maiola said. “Now we will continue to closely monitor and study the issue as IVF services in Alabama move forward.”

Democrats in the Legislature introduced competing measures during and after debate on the bill that eventually went into effect, but none advanced.

Those included bills that clearly seek to clarify An embryo that is “outside of childhood” is “not considered an unborn child”. House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels also offered a proposal constitutional amendment To include a provision that a “prenatal embryo” — the term used in the state Supreme Court decision — is not an “unborn life” or an “unborn child.”

Reproductive rights groups criticized Alabama Republicans for not revisiting the issue.

RESOLVE: “The last short-term measure was really just a Band-Aid to get IVF care back up and clinics open again,” said Betsy Campbell, chief executive officer of the National Infertility Association. “But he still has his shadow [state] The Supreme Court has ruled that embryos have the same rights as living children, affecting both providers and patients.

“There needs to be a long-term fix: legislation that addresses the status of embryos and is based on scientific, evidence-based information about what happens during reproduction and IVF,” Campbell added. “Deputies should complete the work.”



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By 37ci3

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