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Mississippi IVF Protection Bill Advances, Mental Health Task Force Becomes Law: #MSLeg Roundup

Mississippi could protect access to assisted reproductive technology, including in-vitro fertilization, under a compromise bill that members of the state House and Senate agreed to on April 27. The conference report, which lawmakers have since recommitted for further negotiations before either chamber votes on it, originally dealt only with inheritance rights for those born as the result of IVF treatments.

The effort to protect IVF is a response to an Alabama Supreme Court ruling that imperiled access to the procedure in Mississippi’s neighbor to the east in February. U.S. House Rep. Missy McGee, R-Hattiesburg, led the effort to pass an IVF protection bill earlier in the session, but that bill died on a March deadline. The Alabama legislation raised concerns that Mississippi’s strict abortion laws could lead to similar interpretations in the Magnolia State.

Under the April 27 conference report, if unimplanted embryos used for in-vitro fertilization die or suffer damage, the bill says law enforcement would not be able to charge any person, patient or health-care professional for the loss.

“In any civil action or suit brought or maintained against any manufacturer, individual or entity providing products and/or services related to assisted reproductive technology, damages shall be limited to economic damages only, calculated as the price paid for the impacted service,” H.B. 1542 says.

The conferees include Rep. Joey Hood, R-Ackerman; Rep. Shanda Yates, I-Jackson; Rep. Dana McLean, R-Columbus; Sen. Brice Wiggins, R-Pascagoula; Sen. Tyler McCaughn, R-Newton; and Sen. Joey Fillingane, R-Sumrall.

Despite leading the charge on Mississippi’s most restrictive abortion laws, Sen. Joey Fillingane, R-Sumrall, supports protecting IVF treatments, which he has used to build his own family. AP Photo / Rogelio V. Solis

Though Fillingane has been instrumental in passing Mississippi’s most strict abortion laws, he supports protecting IVF.

“We need at some point soon, I would think, given the mounting number of folks like myself who use that process to have families and to expand families—I think it’s just silly in 2024, wouldn’t you agree with me, not to have legislation protecting that particular process in the law?” Fillingane told Wiggins on the House floor on

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