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IVF is as pro-life as it gets, and the Legislature is committed to protecting it

When Parliament adjourned for the weekend on February 15, a number of difficult issues already awaited its reconvening the following week. The House was preparing to vote on the CHOOSE Act and other priorities. The Senate was grappling with issues such as legislation addressing election security and DEI. The session went smoothly, and both chambers seemed to have found their groove.

Things changed on Friday, February 16th, when the Alabama Supreme Court issued a ruling regarding in vitro fertilization (IVF).

This ruling has set off a chain reaction of unintended consequences for our country. First, many IVF clinics in Alabama were forced to close overnight. This meant that hundreds of hopeful parents who had invested time, money and prayers into the process could be put on hold indefinitely. And ultimately, the responsibility for resolving the issue was shifted to Congress. The ball was thrown into our court, and we needed to get this right for the people of Alabama.

From the moment I learned of this ruling, it became my top priority to do whatever it took to reopen Alabama's IVF clinic and continue to breathe new life into this world. This was my responsibility as a member of Congress, but it meant even more to me as someone who has a family in this world thanks to the grace of God and IVF. Everyone I've talked to about this issue, my colleagues and constituents in both chambers of Congress, share similar personal attachments.

I have heard stories of sons, daughters, grandsons, and granddaughters who became pregnant through IVF and were a great blessing to their families. We also heard from many understandably scared and angry Alabamians whose daughters or loved ones were undergoing these treatments at the time of the verdict, and their message was heard loud and clear.

As national media focused on criticizing Alabama and politicians in Washington, D.C., lined up for criticism, the Alabama Legislature stayed focused and got to work. Lawmakers in the House and Senate were committed to finding solutions and protecting IVF in the state, rather than making the problem worse.

I have always felt that the diversity of professional backgrounds that Congress has is one of its greatest characteristics. As we have done many times before, we reached out to members of Congress with specialized experience on this issue. The case was led by Dr. Tim Melson in the Senate and coordinated by Representative Terry Collins in the House.

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In less than a week, both the House and Senate developed a well-coordinated plan to pass companion legislation that would grant IVF clinics immunity from prosecution. Our goal from the beginning has been to pass legislation that entrenches IVF into the culture of life in Alabama, and clinic immunoprotection gives us time to figure out how best to do that. This will allow clinics to reopen their doors and continue serving hopeful parents while the men and women of Congress work through a very complex issue.

An IVF clinic in Alabama was attacked 20 days ago. During this time, the public has faced anxiety and fear, and has rightly demanded that something be done about it. Five days after the legislative session, Governor Ivey signed what is likely to be the most important bill of the session. This is how government is supposed to work, and I couldn't be more proud of how Congress handled this issue.

Our people believe in nurturing a culture of life, and for many parents, IVF was a miracle that led to their greatest blessing. IVF is as pro-life as possible, and I am committed to ensuring that IVF remains an available option for those who call this great state home.

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