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Alabama House passes bill to ensure IVF access after court ruled embryos are children

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(MONTGOMERY, Ala.) — The Alabama House of Representatives has passed legislation to restore access to in vitro fertilization after a controversial state Supreme Court ruling that embryos are children raised questions about the treatment in Alabama.

Thursday’s vote, which was 94-6 with three abstentions, completes another step in a process that is ultimately expected to finish up late next week with Gov. Kay Ivey signing the bill into law.

Within days of the state court’s decision earlier this month, roughly half of Alabama’s IVF clinics paused treatment for fear that they could face wrongful death lawsuits or potentially criminal charges for discarding unused embryos, a routine part of IVF.

But the House proposal, if enacted, would provide civil and criminal immunity “for death or damage” to an embryo as part of IVF services.

Next, the Senate will vote on the bill on Thursday afternoon.

After that, the House will vote once more on the Senate’s bill and the Senate will vote again on the House’s bill — a dayslong process.

Lawmakers have told ABC News that they have reached consensus and don’t expect hiccups in the process, at this stage. If a lawmaker were to introduce an amendment, the timeline could be delayed. But at this point, none are expected.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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