Alabama's IVF Restrictions Strike Fear Into Florida Democrats

Alabama's IVF Restrictions Strike Fear Into Florida Democrats

In the wake of the Alabama Supreme Court ruling that IVF embryos are children, Florida Dems worry about the future of IVF in the state

Liv Caputo
Liv Caputo
February 21, 2024

TALLAHASSEE, FL—Democrats are demanding that a bill defining fetal personhood and expanding wrongful death actions to the unborn be killed on the Senate Floor. They worry that if it passes, it will spell the end of IVF treatments in the state of Florida.

On Wednesday the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos are considered children under the law, effectively expanding the state's Wrongful Death Act to these embryos. Soon after, Alabama's largest hospital announced the stoppage of all IVF treatments.

Meanwhile, the Florida Legislature is considering SB 476—a new bill expanding Florida's Wrongful Death Act to unborn children, defining these children as "members of the species homo sapiens at any stage of development who is carried in the womb,". Abortion and IVF advocates are concerned that this would establish the concept of fetal personhood—a fetus with the same rights as a living person—at conception, throwing into question Florida's own laws on these issues.

In response to Alabama's ruling, the hospital closure, and Florida's wrongful death bill, Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book released the following statement:

“IVF is now at risk due to fetal personhood legislation being passed in conservative states. As we are seeing in Alabama — where the University of Alabama at Birmingham health system has paused all IVF medicine following their state Supreme Court’s decision that embryos are people with rights — the impact is real and the danger is imminent. If the Florida Legislature does not stop its fetal personhood legislation, we could face similar challenges far beyond the bill’s original scope.”

Currently, the Florida Supreme Court is considering two abortion-related cases. The first is Florida's 15-week abortion ban, signed into law in 2022. If ruled constitutional this will automatically trigger a 6-week abortion ban signed into law last year.

The other case deals with the "Amendment to Limit Government Interference with Abortion”, which would enshrine Floridians' right to an abortion in the state Constitution. The Court is set to decide on the amendment's legality by April 1.

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Liv Caputo

Liv Caputo

Livia Caputo is a senior at Florida State University, working on a major in Criminology, and a triple minor in Psychology, Communications, and German. She has been working on a journalism career for the past year, and hopes to become a successful reporter after graduation. Her work has been cited in Fox News, the New York Post, and the Daily Mail

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