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Key Alabama hospital in embryo ruling to end IVF services

The hospital that serves much of Alabama and the Gulf Coast said it would cease IVF services, citing complicated litigation concerns in the state.
Key Alabama hospital in embryo ruling to end IVF services
Posted at 10:39 PM, Apr 04, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-04 22:40:12-04

A hospital in Alabama that was key in the state's highly publicized IVF embryo ruling says it will shut down IVF therapy by the end of the year "in light of litigation concerns" in the state. 

Infirmary Health hospital system, which serves a large swath of Alabama and the Gulf Coast, said the hospital's Mobile campus will "no longer be able to offer this service to families" after it shuts down IVF therapy operations by Dec. 31, 2024. 

The hospital said in a statement this week that it only temporarily resumed In vitro fertilization therapy "in order to assist families" in the state and from the Gulf Coast who had already begun the IVF process "in the hopes of starting a family."

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In March Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed legislation to protect in vitro fertilization services in Alabama. Her signature came hours after state lawmakers passed the bill through Alabama's House and Senate. The legislation was meant to protect health care providers from the Alabama Supreme Court's February ruling that held frozen embryos are equal to children.

The legislation said that "no action, suit, or criminal prosecution for the damage to or death of an embryo shall be brought or maintained against any individual or entity when providing or receiving services related to in vitro fertilization." 

It would apply retroactively but would not be applied to ongoing litigation, Scripps News reported at the time. 

A spokesperson for Mobile Infirmary said in a statement obtained by the New York Times that the decision to end services before next year was made amid "pending litigation and the lack of clarity of the recently passed IVF legislation in the state."

Both former President Donald Trump and the Biden administration voiced support for IVF therapy last month. The White House sent the Health and Human Services secretary to Alabama after the state Supreme Court's ruling, the Associated Press reported. 

At least three Alabama IVF providers paused services after the ruling recognized embryos as “extrauterine children" after wrongful death cases were filed when embryos were accidentally destroyed. 


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