Trump calls on Alabama to protect IVF treatment after court ruling

Trump calls on Alabama to protect IVF treatment after court ruling
  • By Lisa Lambert
  • BBC News, Washington

image caption,

The former president, 77, called on Alabama lawmakers to “act quickly” to protect IVF

Donald Trump has said he supports access to IVF treatment, joining a growing number of Republicans who want to distance themselves from an Alabama court ruling on the issue.

The state's Supreme Court ruled last week that frozen embryos have the same rights as children and that people can be held responsible for their destruction.

At least three clinics have suspended IVF treatment in the wake of the verdict.

On Friday, Mr Trump called on Alabama to find an “immediate solution”.

“We want to make it easier for mothers and fathers to have children, not harder! This includes supporting the availability of fertility treatments like IVF in every state in America,” the former president wrote on his Truth Community site.

“[Like] “I strongly support the availability of IVF to couples trying to conceive a precious child, as do Republicans, conservatives, Christians and the majority of pro-life Americans,” he added.

Earlier Friday, in an apparent attempt to assuage concerns in the state, Alabama's Republican Attorney General Steve Marshall said he did not intend to prosecute IVF providers or their families.

Mr Trump's comments were his first on the issue and he expressed opposition to the ruling, which some Republicans fear could harm suburban women by hindering their plans to win back suburban women.

Mr Trump is a front-runner to win the Republican nomination in the November election and is a leading voice in the party.

In a further sign of the party's efforts to distance itself from Alabama governance, the national Republican Senate Committee, which helps elect members to Congress, sent a memo to candidates on Friday directing them to express support for IVF and the “campaign.” Increase access to treatment.

“There are zero Republican Senate candidates who support efforts to limit access to fertility treatments,” the group's executive director, Jason Thielman, wrote in a memo obtained by the BBC's US affiliate CBS.

It also cited internal polls conducted by Kellyanne Conway, a one-time White House adviser to Mr Trump, to show that IVF access is more popular.

Several Senate candidates, including Cary Lake of Arizona, publicly supported access to care after the memo was circulated.

Nikki Haley, Mr Trump's only challenger for the Republican nomination, appeared to support the ruling after saying she considered frozen embryos children. He later denied supporting the court's decision.

Although the Alabama ruling does not ban or restrict IVF, many medical providers in the state have cited fears of legal repercussions for suspending fertility services in recent days.

It is created by the state's highest court and all of its judges are Republicans.

Democrats are already incorporating the Alabama case into the campaign, portraying it as a warning that their rivals will seek to take away women's rights if they win the November election.

Mr Biden X, in an earlier post on Twitter, said the Alabama decision was only possible because of a 2022 ruling by the US Supreme Court – which included three Trump appointees – to overturn abortion rights.

While many conservatives celebrated the Roe v Wade decision, it was a voter turnout for Democrats and a messaging nightmare for Republicans.

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