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Mississippi House considering legislation to protect IVF providers amid Alabama Supreme Court ruling

In response to an Alabama Supreme Court ruling that frozen embryos could be considered children under state law, legislators in the Mississippi House of Representatives are working to pass enhanced protections for healthcare providers who perform assisted reproductive services.

A firestorm was sparked with many states beginning to move frenetically to put protective measures in place for healthcare providers after Alabama’s high court ruled that three different couples could sue a fertility clinic for wrongful death after frozen embryos were accidentally destroyed at the clinic.

The ruling was in conjunction with the state’s anti-abortion language following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling that allowed states to determine their own abortion policies. In response, clinics began halting in vitro fertilization (IVF) services en masse to avoid litigation. To prevent this from occurring in Mississippi, a notoriously pro-life state, Rep. Missy McGee, R-Hattiesburg, has updated an existing bill to include protections for medical providers who help families planning to have children through assisted reproductive means.

“I’m heartbroken for Alabama families in IVF treatments & fear what this means going forward,” McGee wrote on X following the Alabama Supreme Court decision. “As a woman who struggled with infertility for years, I know there is nothing more pro-life than trying to conceive a child. We’ve sadly turned this issue inside out & upside down.”

RELATED: Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith blocks legislation protecting IVF access

McGee, who recently played an integral role in the House passing Medicaid expansion after years of inertia, added language to House Bill 1688 to protect IVF providers in fear of litigation. The legislation that was initially drafted to establish a community health worker certification program would now provide a legal right for healthcare providers to perform assisted reproductive services.

Under the amended bill, individuals would have the right to their genetic materials at all times throughout the process of assisted reproduction and could even have costs of services covered by insurance if the provider consents.

Individuals looking to expand their family through IVF or other assisted reproduction technologies would be able to pursue legal action against any governing body

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