Republicans start to back off controversial Alabama IVF ruling

A wave of Republicans led by Donald Trump vowed Friday to protect in vitro fertilization in the wake of an Alabama court ruling that said frozen embryos should be considered children, in what could become a galvanizing issue in the 2024 election.

Democrats have made the preservation of reproductive rights a central part of their campaign, with women in conservative states that have strict abortion bans facing problems accessing emergency care for life-threatening pregnancies.

"Like the overwhelming majority of Americans, including the vast majority of Republicans, conservatives, Christians and pro-life Americans, I strongly support the availability of IVF for couples who are trying to have a precious, beautiful little baby," Trump told an audience in South Carolina ahead of its Republican primary on Saturday.

"I'm calling on the Alabama legislature to act quickly to find an immediate solution to preserve the availability of IVF in Alabama," Trump said.

The Alabama Supreme Court's decision last Friday came in response to a wrongful death lawsuit brought by three couples against a fertility clinic after a patient "managed to wander into" a cryogenic nursery and dropped several frozen embryos, destroying them.

A lower court ruled the frozen embryos could not be considered a "person" or "child" and dismissed the claim, but the top court disagreed, in a 7-2 decision sprinkled with quotes from the Bible.

At least three fertility clinics in the state quickly announced they were pausing IVF treatments in light of the new legal risks.

The state's Republican governor Kay Ivey has issued a statement saying she is working with lawmakers to craft a bill "protect these families and life itself," though it was not immediately...

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