Center for Political Awareness

States Push ‘Fetal Personhood’ Bills Despite Outrage at Alabama IVF Ruling

Lawmakers in more than a dozen states have considered efforts to give legal rights and protections to embryos and fetuses. (Click image for article.)

Photo: Hours after the Alabama legislature ruled to protect IVF providers, Iowa Republicans passed a fetal personhood bill. Photograph: skaman306/Getty Images

 

Lawmakers in more than a dozen states have considered efforts to endow embryos or fetuses with legal rights and protections since the start of the year, and at least three states have advanced such “fetal personhood” legislation since February, when an Alabama supreme court decision ruling that frozen embryos are “extrauterine children” unleashed national outrage.

The Alabama state legislature responded to the repercussions of that ruling – which led several of the state’s in vitro fertilization (IVF) providers to halt their work – by passing a bill to protect providers’ ability to offer that treatment. Yet, just hours after the legislature passed those protections, Republicans in the Iowa statehouse passed a fetal personhood bill that amends state law to criminalize causing the “death of an unborn person”.

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