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New polling shows support for IVF among GOP voters in Alabama

Alabama Republican primary voters disapprove of the Supreme Court's Feb. 16 decision on IVF by nearly two-to-one, according to a new poll conducted by UpONE Insights.

The court ruled that stored embryos have the same legal protections as children under the state's wrongful death law, enacted in 1872. The ruling caused many IVF clinics across Alabama to suspend services. In March, the Alabama Legislature passed a bill to protect providers from legal liability in response to the ruling, and many clinics have resumed operations.

The poll was conducted statewide from Feb. 29 to March 2 among 500 Republican primary voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points, concluding that 61% of Republican voters disapprove of the court's decision and just 31% of Republican voters approve of the decision.

Opposition is consistent across all constituent groups measured: Majorities of self-described conservatives (52%), Trump Republicans (62%), Christian conservatives (51%), pro-lifers (54%) and frequent churchgoers (52%) express opposition to the ruling.

41% of respondents not only disagree, but “strongly disagree” with the decision, while 22% said they “somewhat disagree.”

Related: Reed, Leadbetter detail Alabama lawmakers' approach to IVF: “Stay focused and get wise advice”

Fourteen percent of respondents said they “strongly support” the ruling, while 16% said they “somewhat support” it. Seven percent of respondents either refused to answer the question or said they “don't know.”

The poll found that Alabama voters overwhelmingly support new legislation aimed at protecting IVF services and clinics, with more than 81% of respondents expressing a favorable view of the bill's chances of passing. Fifty-four percent of those surveyed said they “strongly support” the new law, and 27% said they “somewhat support” the new law.

Only 13% of respondents were opposed to the IVF bill, 4% answered “don't know”, and 2% refused to answer. Again, the responses were consistent across all constituent groups measured.

More than two-thirds of respondents support a future ballot initiative that would allow voters to have a say on the issue. 67% express a positive view of a possible amendment, with only 24% expressing opposition, and 9% either not sure or refusing to answer. Support for a possible ballot initiative remains stable across all constituent groups.

Policy and medical experts say the IVF issue remains unresolved because the immunity laws are inconsistent with court rulings, and that lawmakers should find more permanent protections.

“Uncertainty about the future of IVF in the state will likely lead to clinics closing or at least limiting services, and patients who can afford it will travel out of state for treatment,” explains Dr. Mamie McLean, an IVF physician at Alabama Fertility.

“Protecting IVF medical treatment permanently will help create more babies and families in our state.”

Charles Vaughn is a contributing writer for Yellow Hammer News.

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