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The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

‘IVF Protection Act’ draws criticism from students, legal experts

Shelby West
Two Republican senators introduced a bill that would force states to protect IVF or face losing federal funding.

Editor’s note: This story was updated on May 30 to remove information that indicated that Sen. Tedd Budd withdrew from co-sponsoring the bill. erroneously listed Budd as having co-sponsored the bill before withdrawing, however the senator is still reviewing the bill to determine whether to co-sponsor it.

Sens. Katie Britt and Ted Cruz introduced the IVF Protection Act on May 20, which would make states that ban in vitro fertilization ineligible for Medicaid funding. Some UA students believe that the act lacks clarity and may fail to protect IVF clinics.

In Alabama, nearly 80% of Medicaid is funded by the federal government. Around 1 in 4 Alabamians used Medicaid coverage at some point in 2020, including older adults, pregnant women and children. 

The bill comes after some IVF clinics in Alabama stopped operations earlier this year when the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos were entitled to the same rights as children. Some clinics reopened after Governor Kay Ivey signed a bill that shields IVF providers, but others, like Infirmary Health in Mobile, will no longer operate due to the threat of litigation.

“I believe that we’re the party of life, and I believe that we’re the party of families,” Britt said of the Republican Party in an interview with Newsmax. “Making sure we’re protecting IVF going forward was critically important.” 

Cruz spoke similarly, saying that IVF has given hope to millions of Americans and that it needs to be protected on the federal level. 

UA Planned Parenthood Generation Action, a student-led reproductive rights organization, said that the act has commendable findings but isn’t specific enough in its protection of IVF. 

“This opens the door for more restrictive measures to be imposed under the guise of regulation,” PPGA social media manager Aria Lawrence wrote in a statement. “It’s essential that the language explicitly prevents any form of unreasonable restrictions to ensure IVF is genuinely accessible to everyone who needs it.” 

The act does not establish a federal right to IVF, and Lawrence said that states could choose to reject Medicaid funding in favor of restricting IVF. Some reproductive rights organizations and legal experts have voiced similar concerns about the clarity of the bill. 

“The act’s only legal requirement is that states cannot prohibit IVF, but it fails to specify what it means by ‘prohibiting’ IVF or how states are or are not allowed to regulate the practice,” Emma Waters, a senior research associate for the political policy group Heritage, wrote on the group’s website. 

The act was referred to the Committee on Finance, where it must be approved before a vote can be held in the Senate. According to, Sens. Roger Wicker and Cynthia Lummis joined the bill as co-sponsors. 


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