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House Democrats speak on bill to clarify embryos aren’t human lives

House Democrats filed a bill last week that would make clear that embryos are not to be considered human lives.

A view of the Alabama Statehouse on South Union Street in Montgomery, Alabama. (STOCK PHOTO)
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Alabama House Democrats filed a bill last week that would make clear that embryos are not to be considered human lives under state law.

“I’m proud of HB225, which would immediately put a halt on the Alabama Supreme Court ruling that happened a couple weeks ago,” Daniels said. “Sadly, the court ruling that frozen embryos stored in a laboratory freezer are children is harmful to those hoping to build families, especially those using IVF.”

Daniels said he consulted with fertility clinics and believes passage of the bill would give the clinics the protection necessary to resume treatment.

Clinics in the state have paused IVF treatments in the wake of an Alabama Supreme Court ruling that embryos are considered human life under one of Alabama’s constitutional amendments, and therefore clinics can be held accountable under the Wrongful Death of a Minor Act.

There is debate whether legislation can even make an impact, or whether the constitutional amendment would render any legislation passed by the state unconstitutional.

“In my opinion, that will require us to pass a constitutional amendment creating an exception for embryos in an IVF clinic,” State Rep. Chris England, D-Tuscaloosa, posted to X. “If true, then that can’t happen until November when the amendment can be on the ballot for people to vote on whether or not to add that to our constitution.”

Attorney General Steve Marshall said he would not prosecute IVF providers for embryos that are destroyed, but civil actions like the one that spurred the ruling two weeks ago are civil, bot criminal, cases.

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State Rep. Prince Chestnut, D-Selma, said he hopes the bill will be enough to assuage clinic concerns.

“Due to this ruling, many fertility clinics in Alabama have now pause operations,” Chestnut said. “This has disrupted the lives of women and hopeful parents who use these treatments to start or expand their families.”

Sen. Tim Melson, R-Florence, is also working on a bill that, as drafted, would protect embryos specifically when fertilized in vitro. The language differs from the House bill, which protects in extrauterine embryos, but both appear to apply solely to IVF situations.

Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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