Alabama Lawmakers Pass Bills Protecting In Vitro Fertilization After Court Ruled That Embryos Are Children


Jens Kalaene / dpa / picture alliance via Getty Images

Alabama’s legislature voted Thursday to protect in vitro fertilization (IVF) providers and patients from civil and criminal penalties for damaging or destroying embryos.

The move comes as a result of a state court ruling that frozen embryos are now considered children under wrongful death law in Alabama. In light of the ruling, several fertility clinics, including the largest healthcare provider in the state, paused IVF services for fear of legal action if frozen embryos stored at their facilities were destroyed, according to The Associated Press.

The Alabama Legislature advanced two bills extending lawsuit protections to clinics in response to public pressure to resume IVF services. Legislators hope to get the measures approved next week “while they weigh whether additional action is needed.”

“This would at least keep the clinics open and the families moving forward,” said bill sponsor Rep. Terri Collins (R), as NPR reports.

In mid-February, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that three couples whose embryos were destroyed in a storage facility could bring wrongful death lawsuits against their “extrauterine children.” Under the wrongful death statute, embryos are treated the same as children or gestating fetuses, raising concerns about clinics’ civil liability.

In response to the ruling, three major clinics halted IVF services.

“Republicans’ proposal focused on lawsuit protections instead of attempting to address the legal status of embryos,” according to The Associated Press.

In the event that an embryo is damaged or dies during IVF services, the legislation will protect providers from prosecution and civil lawsuits.

The bills have advanced with broad bipartisan support.


Source link

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply