Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signs bill to protect IVF following controversial court ruling

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has signed legislation to protect in vitro fertilisation providers from civil and criminal liabilities after the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos were children last month.

The Republican Governor swiftly signed Senate Bill No. 159, after it was passed overwhelmingly by the House of the State on Wednesday 81-10. There were 12 abstentions. It also passed 29-1 by the Senate.

Kay stated in a press release that “the overwhelming support for SB159 by the Alabama Legislature proves what has been said: Alabama works to promote a culture of living, and this includes IVF.”

After the Alabama Supreme Court’s controversial ruling of Feb. 16, which stated that frozen embryos were children under Alabama law, and protected under the state Wrongful Death of a Minor Act, the bill was quickly introduced and debated by lawmakers under public pressure.


Three families brought the case before the court, whose frozen embryos had been destroyed accidentally when they were removed from their cryogenic nursery.

Civil rights groups and medical associations have criticized the ruling. It has also caused concern amongst the state’s providers of vitro fertilisation, with half closing in response.

The bill passed on Wednesday, though it does not directly address the issue of whether embryos are considered children by law, prevents providers of in vitro fertilisation from suing “for damage or death of an Embryo.”

Alabama Fertility celebrated the signing SB 159 on its website, calling it a “solution” that ended “19 uncertain days and 14 missed opportunities for our clients.”

In a Facebook post, it stated: “To our patients – you are our heroes.” “We wouldn’t be where you are today without your courage, sharing your stories, and letting everyone know the importance of IVF treatment for families in our State.”

“What’s next? This week, transfers and IVF will begin. There will be more pregnancies in Alabama and more babies. “Let’s get started!”

The University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology has also announced that it will restart its IVF treatment.

“UAB is grateful to the Alabama Legislature and Gov. Ivey, for quickly passing and signing legislation that will allow UAB’s in vitro fertility treatments to resume,” Dr. Warner Huh said in a message.

We will continue to monitor developments and advocate on behalf of IVF patients and providers.