Louisville Democrat files bill to protect assisted reproduction, IVF in Kentucky

Republished from Kentucky Lantern


FRANKFORT — A Louisville Democrat filed a bill Tuesday aimed at “safeguarding” access to in vitro fertilization in Kentucky.

Senate Bill 301, sponsored by Sen. Cassie Chambers Armstrong, D-Louisville, would protect from criminal liability medical providers who “engaged in assisted reproduction who meet the professional standard of care,” according to a copy provided to the Lantern. The bill is not yet available online. 

 “This bill has a clear objective: to protect IVF providers, enabling them to continue their vital work,” Chambers Armstrong said in a statement. “Kentuckians pursuing IVF treatments should not fear the abrupt cessation of these services. Every individual aspiring to start a family deserves the opportunity to do so.”

This comes after the Alabama Supreme Court ruled in mid February that frozen embryos are children, as the Alabama Reflector reported. Some worry this ruling will deter people in Alabama from attempting to conceive children via IVF, which sometimes involves freezing embryos for future attempts at insemination. Several clinics in Alabama, including the University of Alabama Birmingham, have paused IVF treatments and embryo transfers in response to the ruling.

Chambers Armstrong’s bill has little chance of being debated in the Republican-controlled legislature. Few Democratic bills have moved this session – three  in the Senate and two in the House as of Tuesday evening. 

The Alabama ruling, which is supported by many in the anti-abortion movement, has put Republican politicians on the spot. Last week former President Donald Trump, the GOP frontrunner for president, called on the Alabama legislature to reestablish IVF as legal in the state. Republicans in other races scrambled to voice their support for fertility related services such as in vitro fertilization. In the U.S. Senate, Democrats hope to force a vote on the issue Wednesday.

IVF is used to treat infertility, according to the Mayo Clinic, and can help other people trying to get pregnant to do so. 

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