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Opinion | Rep. Stadthagen exposes truth on IVF against “dark money group’s” claims

Alabama couples who face fertility issues rely on medical treatments including IVF to give birth to children they desperately want.

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Over the weekend, several members of the Alabama House Republican Caucus were targeted by ads claiming that their votes to reinstate IVF treatments to families in Alabama will protect those who intentionally cause the death of an unborn child. These ads are mischaracterizing the legislation and the group that is running these advertisements, the American Action Fund, are fully aware that they are intentionally engaging in despicable messaging against Christian Conservative members of the Alabama House of Representatives. Unfortunately, this is not the first time that this group, a shadowy organization based in Texas, has targeted Republicans in Alabama with unfair innuendo and half-truths.

We don’t know who is funding this shadowy group because they do not register with the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office and they do not disclose the source of the funding of these ads on any Alabama Campaign Finance Report. DJ Parten, a man who sometimes claims to represent this group in the halls of the State House, often drifts from state to state across the Southeast leaving a trail of vitriol and bizarre statements in his wake.   

Because this shadowy, out of state, dark money group has taken it upon themselves to mischaracterize the actions of conservative Republicans in the Alabama House of Representatives, I believe it is my role as the Alabama House Majority leader to ensure that the people of our great state know the truth. 

The truth is that thousands of Alabama couples who face fertility issues rely on medical treatments including IVF to be able to give birth to the children that they desperately want. These are couples that often go through years of heartache, disappointment, loss and despair on their journey to give birth to a child that they want more than almost anything in the world. 

Last month, an Alabama Supreme Court opinion issued a ruling that resulted in most of the fertility clinics in our state deciding to pause the offering of IVF services to these couples. When IVF was paused, hundreds of Alabama families found themselves without access to the fertility treatment they needed to add to their families. The treatment they need to create life.

In order to help remedy this situation, a large majority of Republican members of the Alabama House of Representatives voted to support legislation, sponsored by Republican Representative Terri Collins, that would allow fertility clinics to begin providing IVF to couples who need that service to create precious life. To assist loving families with the ability to have children is the definition of pro-life. This was an effort supported by pro-life Republicans across this country and an effort supported by President Donald J. Trump.

The American Action Fund and DJ Parten do not have to answer to the people of this state. They do not have to look into the eyes of mothers and fathers who rely on IVF fertility treatments and weep with them as they see their opportunity to become parents disappearing. Instead, they hide in the shadows and shout insults from the cheap seats while Republican members of the Alabama House of Representatives vote in favor of pro-life legislation carried by Rep. Terri Collins (R-Decatur) that will result in the birth of children and the foundation of happy, healthy Alabama families. 

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The American Action Fund is wrong on this one. They are using ads targeted at well-meaning, pro-life, Christan Conservative Alabamians in an effort to raise money for their dark money, out of state shadow group. They are targeting real pro-life legislators with deceitful messaging and harming real Alabama families in the process. Nothing could be less pro-life.

Scott Stadthagen is a Republican state representative representing Alabama House District 9.

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