AL Gov. Signs Law Providing Protections To IVF Providers

March 9, 2024

I am pleased to sign this important, short-term measure into law so that couples in Alabama hoping and praying to be parents can grow their families through IVF.

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R), who signed a new state law providing protections to providers of in vitro fertilization (IVF) on Wednesday.

Background: Less than a month ago, the Alabama Supreme Court affirmed that under state law, an embryo is considered an “unborn child” and therefore parents could collect damages. The ruling came in a case in which three couples brought a wrongful death suit against a fertility clinic after their frozen embryos were accidentally destroyed. The AL Supreme Court’s ruling allowed the parents in this scenario to recover damages for their child’s death while also igniting immediate concerns by IVF providers in the state (who stopped providing services). The ruling also raised concerns for providers in other states with similar laws that they may face heightened risks for practicing.

Why It Matters: The legislation signed into law Wednesday states that “no action, suit, or criminal prosecution for the damage to or death of an embryo shall be brought or maintained against” against providers of IVF. With the protections provided by the new law, at least two IVF providers in AL are resuming services. Some lawmakers say the bill “was the best immediate solution they could find to get IVF services resumed,” while others say the bill did not go far enough as it did not address whether an embryo is considered a child (The AP).

Read More: Alabama governor signs legislation protecting IVF providers from legal liability into law (The Associated Press)

Alabama Passes Law to Protect I.V.F. Treatments (The New York Times)

What to know about Alabama’s fast-tracked legislation to protect in vitro fertilization clinics (The Associated Press)

by Leah Grainery, based in Texas