Alabama House Passes Bill Protecting IVF Providers After State Supreme Court Rules Frozen Embryos Are Children | Eastern North Carolina Now

    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Zach Jewell.

    The Republican-led Alabama House passed a bill on Thursday protecting in vitro fertilization (IVF) providers just a week after the state's Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos are children.

    The legislation, HB 237, seeks to give "civil and criminal immunity to persons providing goods and services related to in vitro fertilization in certain circumstances," The Hill reported. Under the bill, IVF providers would not be immune from prosecution in situations that involve "an act or omission that is both intentional and not arising from or related to IVF services."

    Lawmakers in the state House passed the bill in a vote of 94-6 with three representatives abstaining. A companion piece of legislation is also being considered by the state Senate, and lawmakers hope to get the measures to Gov. Kay Ivey's desk by next week, according to CNN.

    HB 237 was sponsored by Republican Rep. Terri Collins, who said that the main goal of the bill is to make sure IVF clinics can reopen as soon as possible as many clinics closed after the state Supreme Court's decision.

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    The IVF legislation was approved by the Alabama House shortly after national Republican figures, including former President Donald Trump, called on the state's legislature to preserve access to IVF. Last Friday, Trump posted a lengthy statement on Truth Social, saying that the Republican Party will always support families pursuing life, which he said includes couples seeking fertility treatments such as IVF.

    In an 8-1 ruling last week, the Alabama Supreme Court said that frozen embryos are protected by the state's Wrongful Death of a Minor Act because the law protects all children regardless of their location. The ruling came after three couples sued the Center for Reproductive Medicine in Mobile after five frozen embryos from the couples were accidentally destroyed. They sued for wrongful death after the embryos were dropped after being moved out of one part of the clinic.

    The state Supreme Court's ruling on the case also acknowledged that the Alabama legislature would need to address the issues that would arise for IVF providers after the decision was handed down, according to The Hill.

    In his concurring opinion, Chief Justice Tom Parker referenced several books from the Bible including Genesis, Exodus, and Jeremiah. He also cited thinkers like William Blackstone, Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin, and Petrus Van Mastricht.

    "All three branches of government are subject to a constitutional mandate to treat each unborn human life with reverence. Carving out an exception for the people in this case, small as they were, would be unacceptable to the People of this State, who have required us to treat every human being in accordance with the fear of a holy God who made them in His image," Parker wrote.

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    Controversy erupted after the ruling as President Joe Biden called it "outrageous and unacceptable" and said the Alabama decision was a "direct result" of the U.S. Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade and Trump's pro-life policies. Multiple clinics in the state paused their IVF services following the decision, including the clinic at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

    Leif Le Mahieu contributed to this report.
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