Tuberville acknowledges 'hard' situation for women after Alabama IVF ruling

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Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R) acknowledged the challenging situation some women face in his state after the state’s Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos are children and subject to legislation dealing with the wrongful death of a minor.

“That’s a hard one. It really is,” Tuberville told reporters at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday, when asked what he would say to women in Alabama who will not have access to in vitro fertilization (IVF) as a result of the ruling. 

“Because again, you really want people to have that opportunity,” he continued, referring to the opportunity to have children.

“We need more kids,” he said.

Tuberville said that he has not yet seen the decision, adding that it is “a state issue.” 

When asked again what he would say to women who would not have access to the treatment, Tuberville said, “That’s unfortunate.” 

“I’d have to look at what they’re agreeing to and not agreeing to. I haven’t seen that,” he said. 

Tuberville went on to say he believes an embryo is a child. 

The court’s majority decision, which was released earlier this week, was in response to a lawsuit brought by a group of IVF patients whose frozen embryos were destroyed in December 2020 when a patient removed the embryos from a cryogenic storage unit and dropped them on the ground.

Defendants have argued that considering frozen embryos as children would result in numerous consequences for people seeking IVF, including making the process more expensive and preserving embryos more “onerous.”

Following the Supreme Court’s decision, the University of Alabama at Birmingham health system announced that it would be pausing all IVF treatments due to the risk of lawsuits and criminal prosecution. 

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley faced pushback earlier this week after she told NBC News, “Embryos, to me, are babies.”

In a separate interview Wednesday, Haley said she believed an embryo was a child when asked about the decision, but added she was not saying she agreed with the ruling. 

“Well, first of all, I didn’t — I mean, this is again, I didn’t say that I agreed with the Alabama ruling. What the question that I was asked is, ‘Do I believe an embryo is a baby?’” Haley said. “I do think that if you look in the definition, an embryo is considered an unborn baby. And so, yes, I believe from my stance that that is.”

“The difference is — and this is what I say about abortion as well — we need to treat these issues with the utmost respect,” she added.

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