Home US Alabama’s Republican governor signs bill to protect IVF after state Supreme Court ruling led centers to stop offering the treatment.

Alabama’s Republican governor signs bill to protect IVF after state Supreme Court ruling led centers to stop offering the treatment.

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Alabama Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signed a law protecting in vitro fertilization providers after a state Supreme Court ruling said frozen embryos should be considered children.

Alabama Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signed a law protecting in vitro fertilization providers after a state Supreme Court ruling said frozen embryos should be considered children.

The state Supreme Court ruled last month that frozen embryos are children and will receive the same protection under state law. The decision caused outrage among IVF providers and families.

Three major IVF providers in the state suspended services for fear of prosecution because the ruling means the centers could theoretically be sued for destroying an embryo.

The ruling could open the door to wrongful death lawsuits in any cases where embryos do not survive being thawed and transferred to the womb, which could send the state’s doctors fleeing elsewhere to practice medicine.

“Alabama works to foster a culture of life, and that certainly includes IVF,” Ivey said in a statement on Twitter while signing the bill protecting IVF on Wednesday.

Alabama Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signed a law protecting in vitro fertilization providers after a state Supreme Court ruling said frozen embryos should be considered children.

Alabama Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signed a law protecting in vitro fertilization providers after a state Supreme Court ruling said frozen embryos should be considered children.

The state Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos are children and will therefore receive the same protection under state law, sparking outrage among IVF providers and families.

The state Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos are children and will therefore receive the same protection under state law, sparking outrage among IVF providers and families.

The state Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos are children and will therefore receive the same protection under state law, sparking outrage among IVF providers and families.

Three major IVF providers in the state suspended services for fear of prosecution because the ruling means people could theoretically be sued for destroying an embryo.

Three major IVF providers in the state suspended services for fear of prosecution because the ruling means people could theoretically be sued for destroying an embryo.

Three major IVF providers in the state suspended services for fear of prosecution because the ruling means people could theoretically be sued for destroying an embryo.

“I am pleased to sign this important short-term measure into law so that Alabama couples hoping and praying to become parents can grow their families through IVF.”

The bill passed by the state legislature Wednesday night said that “no criminal action, suit or proceeding for injury to or death of an embryo shall be commenced or maintained against any individual or entity while providing or receiving services related to in vitro fertilization”. ‘

The immunity provided by the new law would be retroactive but excludes pending litigation. Civil lawsuits could be brought against manufacturers of IVF-related products, such as nutrient-rich solutions used to grow embryos, but damages would be limited and criminal prosecutions would be prohibited.

IVF is a process in which eggs extracted from the woman’s ovaries are fertilized outside the uterus and implanted in the woman’s uterus. Doctors usually fertilize as many healthy eggs as possible to give the woman the best chance of having a baby; Unused fertilized eggs are frozen and stored.

In the end, unused embryos are discarded, although the timing depends on the clinic and the patient’s needs.

With possible consequences for discarding unused embryos, doctors may be prohibited from fertilizing eggs that will not end up being implanted. That decreases a woman’s chances of getting pregnant.

1709799084 13 Alabamas Republican governor signs bill to protect IVF after state

1709799084 13 Alabamas Republican governor signs bill to protect IVF after state

The bill passed by the state legislature Wednesday night said that “no criminal action, suit or proceeding for injury to or death of an embryo shall be commenced or maintained against any individual or entity while providing or receiving services related to in vitro fertilization”.

1709799084 930 Alabamas Republican governor signs bill to protect IVF after state

1709799084 930 Alabamas Republican governor signs bill to protect IVF after state

In February, the state Supreme Court ruled that three couples whose frozen embryos were destroyed in an accident at a storage facility could file wrongful death lawsuits for their “extrauterine children.”

1709799084 525 Alabamas Republican governor signs bill to protect IVF after state

1709799084 525 Alabamas Republican governor signs bill to protect IVF after state

The Republican-led court ruled in favor of the landmark decision, including Chief Justice Tom Parker (pictured), who cited the Bible and said the ruling would protect “the sanctity of unborn life.”

In February, the state Supreme Court ruled that three couples whose frozen embryos were destroyed in an accident at a storage facility could file wrongful death lawsuits for their “extrauterine children.”

The decision came in a lawsuit filed by a group of IVF patients whose frozen embryos were destroyed in December 2020 when a patient removed them from a cryogenic storage unit and dropped them on the floor.

The Republican-led court ruled in favor of the landmark decision, including Chief Justice Tom Parker, who cited the Bible and said it would protect “the sanctity of unborn life.”

‘Human life cannot be unjustly destroyed without incurring the wrath of a holy God, who regards the destruction of his image as an affront to himself.’

“Even before they are born, all human beings bear the image of God, and their lives cannot be destroyed without erasing his glory,” Parker wrote.

The ruling, which treats an embryo the same as an unborn child or fetus under the wrongful death statute, raised concerns about the clinics’ civil liabilities.

The court ruling recognizing embryos as children sparked a backlash, with patients having their appointments abruptly canceled or their path to parenthood thrown into doubt.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham health system suspended all in vitro fertilization procedures after the ruling

The University of Alabama at Birmingham health system suspended all in vitro fertilization procedures after the ruling

The University of Alabama at Birmingham health system suspended all in vitro fertilization procedures after the ruling

The ruling, which treats an embryo the same as an unborn child or fetus under the wrongful death statute, raised concerns about the clinics' liability.

The ruling, which treats an embryo the same as an unborn child or fetus under the wrongful death statute, raised concerns about the clinics' liability.

The ruling, which treats an embryo the same as an unborn child or fetus under the wrongful death statute, raised concerns about the clinics’ liability.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham health system halted all in vitro fertilization procedures following the ruling.

The hospital system made the call out of fear of possible criminal proceedings and lawsuits directed at its patients and doctors as a result of the ruling.

In a statement, a UAB spokeswoman said they are “saddened that this will affect our patients’ attempt to have a baby through IVF, but we must evaluate the possibility that our patients and our physicians could be criminally prosecuted or face harm.” punitive for following the procedure. standard of care for IVF treatments.’

Alabama Fertility Specialist in Birmingham has “paused embryo transfers for at least a day or two,” said Penny Monella, the clinic’s director of operations.

The Mobile Center for Reproductive Medicine also suspended IVF services following the ruling.

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