Alabama Republicans Pass Dangerous IVF Bill Allowing Destruction of Human Embryos

The Republican supermajority in both houses of the Alabama legislature overwhelmingly passed bills to give the state’s in-vitro fertilization (IVF) industry legal immunity Thursday.

The law comes less than two weeks after the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos conceived through IVF are children with human rights under state law.

Although the decision does not outright ban IVF in the state, protectors of the controversial practice that is claimed to be effective.

Reports indicate that some IVF facilities in Alabama have “paused” operations after the landmark decision.

The Alabama House passed pro-IVF HB 237 by a nearly unanimous margin of 96-to-4. Three members abstained from the vote. A majority of state House Republicans voted in favor of the bill.

CNN indicated that a “companion bill to [Alabama] The Senate, SB 159, passed” without dissent, “by a vote of 34-0.”

According to in PBS, the law would “extend lawsuit protections to [IVF] clinics.”

HB 237 “will protect service providers from prosecution and civil suits ‘for providing goods or services related to [IVF] except for an act or omission both intentional and not arising out of or related to IVF services,” PBS continued.

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The sponsor of the House bill, Rep. Terri Collins, R-AL, said HB 237 “will keep clinics open and families moving forward.”

Per CNN, both Collins and SB 159 sponsor Sen. Tim Melson, R-AL, “said the purpose of [bills] is to open IVF clinics immediately.”

Collins said: “It addresses the immediate problem.”

Melson agreed, noting that the fees serve as a “temporary fix.”

“It gets women who are currently in the situation, who are in limbo, back to the clinic,” she said in a floor speech she gave in favor of passing SB 159.

PBS reported that Rep. Ernie Yarbrough, R-AL, has “unsuccessfully tried to place an amendment on the [House] bill that would prohibit clinics from intentionally discarding embryos that are not used or after genetic testing.”

The House voted to table Yarbrough’s amendment by a margin of 65-26, with six abstentions.

Collins was among the members who voted to table the amendment.

CatholicVote Director of Governmental Affairs Tom McClusky attributed the amendment’s failure to “total ignorance” on the part of lawmakers, adding that Alabama Republicans are “acting out of fear.”

“This means that if the IVF industry implants the wrong embryo in the wrong woman, the IVF industry is exempt,” McClusky explained. “If the industry sells a couple’s embryos for experiments, it can’t be sued.”

McClusky said Collins’ bill would cover the multi-billion dollar IVF industry.

“This is not about protecting women or children,” he said. “It’s just the opposite.”

Before his introduction of HB 237, Collins was widely regarded as one of Alabama’s most pro-life legislators.

In 2019, he introduced the Human Life Protection Act, which made almost all abortions illegal in the state. In the same year, Republican Gov. Ivey has the bill as law. It took effect three years later, following the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision.

LifeNews Note: Joshua Mercer writes for CatholicVote, where this column is from originally appeared.

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