Republican Gov Signs Law Protecting IVF After Landmark Ruling Declared Frozen Embryos ‘Children’

(Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Kate Anderson Contributor
Font Size:

Republican Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a bill Wednesday evening that gives medical professionals who freeze embryos for fertility treatments immunity from criminal prosecution.

The bill was proposed by lawmakers in February after the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos created during the process of in vitro fertilization (IVF) were “children” and multiple IVF clinics shut down as a result due to concerns about being prosecuted. Ivey announced that she had signed the bill in a statement released on X, formerly known as Twitter. (RELATED: Medical Professionals, Republicans Face New Challenges Following Red State Supreme Court’s Embryo Ruling)

“IVF is a complex issue, no doubt, and I anticipate there will be more work to come, but right now, I am confident that this legislation will provide the assurances our IVF clinics need and will lead them to resume services immediately,” Ivey said.

The law prohibits any “action, suit, or criminal prosecution for the damage to or death of an embryo,” but does not address the state Supreme Court’s assertion that embryos have personhood, according to the text. The law will also apply retroactively, protecting providers who performed or participated in IVF services prior to the bill’s adoption.

The Alabama Fertility Clinic and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) clinic both announced Wednesday that, in light of the new law, they planned to restart their IVF services after shutting down for several weeks, according to NBC News.

“While UAB is moving to promptly resume IVF treatments, we will continue to assess developments and advocate for protections for IVF patients and our providers,” Dr. Warner Huh, the chair of the UAB Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, said in a video statement.

Some activists, however, felt that the legislation didn’t go far enough, according to NBC News. Barbara Collura, the president of RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, said that the group was “relieved that Alabama clinics can reopen their IVF programs,” but expressed concerns that the bill didn’t “address the underlying issue of the status of embryos as part of the IVF process.”

Political analysts have warned that the Alabama Supreme Court’s decision may hurt Republicans’ chances in November and that the silence from many members of the party is telling.

“It certainly intersects, badly, with general election politics for Republicans,” Stan Barnes, a political consultant and former Republican state senator in Arizona, told Politico. “When a state, any state, takes an aggressive action on this particular topic, people are once again made aware of it, and many think: ‘Maybe I can’t support a Republican in the general election.’”

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.