Breaking News Stories

Ivey signs bill shielding IVF clinics from liability

Clinics that provide in vitro fertilization are currently exempt from criminal and civil liability for the death or destruction of embryos under Alabama law.

The Alabama House of Representatives passed the Senate version of the bill on Wednesday, just five days after it was introduced, making it the fastest bill to pass under procedural rules.

“The overwhelming support for SB159 from the Alabama Legislature proves what we have always said: Alabama is committed to fostering a culture of life, and that includes in vitro fertilization. Make no mistake about it,” Ivey said in a statement after signing the bill Wednesday. “We are pleased to sign this important short-term measure to help Alabama couples expand their families through IVF as they hope and pray to become parents. We expect more work to come, but for now we are confident that this legislation will provide IVF clinics with the guarantees they need and will be able to resume services quickly.”

State Rep. Terry Collins (R-Decatur) said in passing the bill in the House that this is only a short-term solution to reopening IVF clinics and that more permanent solutions are being pursued. He reassured lawmakers that he was there.

Although the bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, there was also bipartisan opposition, more opposition than when the bill first passed in the House.

Last week, a nearly identical bill passed in the full House of Representatives with just six votes against and three abstentions. Twice as many MPs voted against the bill on Wednesday, with triple the number of abstentions.

Rep. Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa) said the bill is simply “a bad bill.”

advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“What we're doing now is just a game of litigation whack-a-mole,” England said.

England and other MPs also questioned how immunity squared with the state's position that life begins at conception.

“Basically, if you're wealthy and have resources, you can do things in an IVF clinic that poor people can't do in an abortion clinic,” England said.
Only two Republicans voted against the bill (as they did last week), while 17 Democrats opposed or abstained.

Alabama Republican lawmakers overwhelmingly supported a bill to reopen IVF clinics, but some within the party were dissatisfied with the Legislature's actions and agreed with the Alabama Supreme Court's ruling that triggered a dizzying legislative resolution. There are some too.

State Rep. Ernie Yarbrough (R-Trinity) said last week that the ALSC may have “uncovered a silent holocaust” and urged his colleagues to vote against the bill.

Ivey said in a statement that he expects some pushback against the bill.

“However, in the coming days, weeks and months, we are likely to hear a lot of political rhetoric surrounding IVF, especially as we are in the middle of a national election,” Ivey said. “Let me be clear: Alabama supports growing families through IVF. From protecting unborn children to assisting with IVF, Alabama is proud to be a pro-life, pro-family state. I am thinking.”

advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The bill passed the House of Representatives with relatively little debate, taking only an hour to pass, despite vote tallies showing high opposition to the bill. The debate lasted three hours last week before lawmakers voted to end it.

With the bill signed into law, lawmakers hope IVF clinics will be able to reopen immediately.

Source link

Share this post:

Related Posts