Sen. Tammy Duckworth Reacts To Alabama Ruling

The Alabama Supreme Court has ruled that frozen embryos are unborn children. That creates some potentially messy legal issues surrounding whether embryos not used for IVF procedures can be destroyed. Because of that, fertility clinics across the state have stopped offering these treatments, putting them on hold until the legality of how the embryos are handled is decided.

Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth and many of her colleagues are using it as a way to push for changes Republicans are trying to make to women’s rights, especially when it comes to reproduction. He has already introduced a bill that would offer national protection for IVF, so laws like Alabama’s don’t mean clinics have to stop their treatments.

Deciding that an embryo is a person, Duckworth argues, prevents women from having proper access to fertility treatments that can help them start or expand their families. He has personal experience with fertility treatments, as many women across the country do. Not being able to access this treatment can be devastating for women who cannot become pregnant naturally or have trouble conceiving.

The Supreme Court decision does not outright ban IVF but it does say that destroying embryos can be prosecuted as wrongful death. While the attorney general for Alabama has said publicly that he won’t go after providers or families, doctors and clinics aren’t ready to take him at his word. The actual law is their focus, and the threat of potential prosecution is too strong for them to ignore.

There are some Republicans in Alabama who are now creating legislation to specifically protect IVF, but Duckworth doesn’t think they’re doing it for the right reasons. Instead, she says, they’re just covering themselves by trying to control as many aspects of women’s health care as possible. She wants to see full reproductive rights for women in the state and across the country, not just the few rights that Republicans and lawmakers agree are acceptable. This issue will likely continue for some time, and more than just Alabama will be affected by the ultimate outcome.

To learn more about The Surrogacy Law Center and how we can help protect you and your rights during your assisted reproduction journey, contact us today!

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