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IVF bills poised for passage in House, Senate

The committee approvals set up the potential for floor passage as lawmakers rush to provide cover for IVF clinics.

Advocates for IVF treatment outside the Alabama Statehouse on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024.

House and Senate bills creating immunity for in vitro fertilization clinics continue to be the fastest-moving bills in the Legislature, switching chambers and clearing committees on Tuesday.

The committee approvals set up the potential for floor passage today as lawmakers rush to provide cover for IVF clinics in the wake of an Alabama Supreme Court ruling that the clinics can be held responsible for the wrongful death of a minor if an embryo in their care is damaged or destroyed.

Debate on the bills lasted about three hours each last week as some Republicans voiced concerns about how the bill aligns with their pro-life views. Democrats also questioned whether these bills would solve the problem or if the state must once again wrestle with “where life begins.”

“The problem we are trying to solve right now is to get those families back on track to be moving forward as they try to have children,” said Rep. Terri Collins, R-Decatur, who sponsored the bill in the House.

The law could go into effect very quickly upon passage as the legislation is effective immediately upon being signed by the governor, and Gov. Kay Ivey has pushed the bill to ensure IVF clinics can reopen as soon as possible.

The bill states that “no action, suit, or criminal prosecution for the damage to or death of an embryo shall be brought or maintained against any individual or entity when providing or receiving services related to in vitro fertilization.”

A proposed special order calendar for the House this afternoon shows the Senate-approved IVF bill as the one and only piece of legislation to be considered today. The House is scheduled to gavel in at 4 p.m.

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

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