June 18, 2024

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According to a bill filed in the Alabama Senate on Tuesday, clinics who offer in vitro fertilization procedures will not be subject to legal action.

Sen. Tim Melson, a Republican from Florence, is the author of SB159, a bill that responds to the Alabama Supreme Court’s decision that frozen embryos are considered “children” for purposes of state law. The bill protects IVF providers against both civil and criminal prosecutions

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After the court determined that three couples whose frozen embryos were destroyed may file a wrongful death claim, a number of IVF clinics stopped treating patients out of fear that they would be sued.Melson’s bill would ensure that IVF providers could not be sued in a civil or criminal capacity, even though State Attorney General Steve Marshall stated on Friday that his office does not “intend” to prosecute IVF providers or families that have used the procedure to have children. The legislation would automatically repeal in 2025.

The bill comes a week after House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels, D-Huntsville, introduced a bill that would make it clear that fertilized eggs or embryos stored outside the human body are not considered human lives for any purpose under state law.

House Bill 225, filed by Democratic Reps. Anthony Daniels, Prince Chestnut, Curtis Travis, Ontario Tillman, Pebblin Warren, would apparently protect in vitro fertilization following a ruling by the state Supreme Court.

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