Biden Calls Alabama Court's IVF Ruling A 'Direct Result' Of Overturning Roe

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President Joe Biden slammed the Alabama Supreme Court’s recent ruling on in vitro fertilization, a day after a clinic in the state made headlines for its decision to stop offering the service out of fear of criminal prosecution.

The ruling is a “direct result of the overturning of Roe v. Wade,” Biden said in a statement Thursday, referencing the landmark 2022 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upended federal reproductive rights productions, allowing states to ban abortion and possibly paving the way to restrictions on other family planning services.

“Today, in 2024 in America, women are being turned away from emergency rooms and forced to travel hundreds of miles for health care, while doctors fear prosecution for providing an abortion,” Biden said. “And now, a court in Alabama put access to some fertility treatments at risk for families who are desperately trying to get pregnant. The disregard for women’s ability to make these decisions for themselves and their families is outrageous and unacceptable.”

Biden’s statement comes a day after the health system at the University of Alabama at Birmingham became the first fertility clinic to pause IVF services in response to the ruling. The ruling, announced last week, determined that fertilized eggs and embryos hold the same rights as children.

The case ended up before the Alabama Supreme Court after a fertility clinic employee dropped some frozen embryos on the floor and destroyed them. Three of the couples who owned the embryos sued the clinic under the state’s Wrongful Death of a Minor Act, which allows parents to sue for damages if their child dies.

That wrongful death law “applies to all children, born and unborn, without limitation,” the ruling said. “It is not the role of this Court to craft a new limitation based on our own view of what is or is not wise public policy. That is especially true where, as here, the People of this State have adopted a Constitutional amendment directly aimed at stopping courts from excluding ‘unborn life’ from legal protection.”

Another Alabama clinic followed suit by pausing IVF treatments Thursday, citing the “legal risk to our clinic and our embryologists.”

The court’s ruling also has implications for people who successfully implant one or some of their frozen embryos and wish to disregard the remaining ones.

“I know that folks are worried about what they’re seeing happening to women all across America. I am too,” Biden continued Thursday, adding, “We’re fighting for the freedom of women, for families, and for doctors who care for these women. And we won’t stop until we restore the protections of Roe v. Wade in federal law for all women in every state.”

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