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Trump urges Alabama to protect IVF access After court ruling

In World
February 24, 2024

ALABAMA – Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump urged Alabama’s legislature to protect the availability of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) after a state high court ruling that threatens to make it harder for people to access fertility treatments.

“Under my leadership, the Republican Party will always support the creation of strong, thriving, healthy American families. We want to make it easier for mothers and fathers to have babies, not harder! That includes supporting the availability of fertility treatments like IVF in every State in America,” Mr Trump said in a post on his Truth Social network on Feb 23.

Mr Trump, the ex-president currently waging a 2024 White House comeback campaign, insisted that Alabama’s legislature make the procedure available.

“I strongly support the availability of IVF for couples who are trying to have a precious baby. Today I am calling on the Alabama legislature to act quickly to find an immediate solution to preserve the availability of IVF in Alabama,” he added.

Justices on Alabama’s top court last week recognised unimplanted human embryos as children, a decision that critics said will make it more difficult for people to conceive via fertility treatments. The ruling though was seen as emboldening anti-abortion groups, who have sought to build legal support for fetal personhood.

The Alabama ruling again thrusts the US Supreme Court’s 2022 reversal of federal abortion rights into the spotlight. The issue has bedeviled Republicans in recent elections, as they struggle to craft a message that appeals both to their base which backs restrictions to the procedure and the wider public.

“American women couldn’t care less what Donald Trump posts on Truth Social, they care that they can’t access fertility treatment because of him,” President Joe Biden’s campaign manager, Julie Chavez Rodriguez, said in a statement. “Alabama families losing access to IVF is a direct result of Donald Trump’s Supreme Court justices overturning Roe v. Wade.”

Polls show most Americans believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases. 

Democrats have sought to keep abortion rights centered before the electorate to galvanize their base and woo independents with a little over eight months until the presidential election. 

Mr Trump’s comments came a day before the South Carolina primary, where he is looking to deliver a devastating defeat to his last major challenger for the nomination, Nikki Haley, in her home state.

Ms Haley earlier this week said she considered frozen embryos created through IVF “babies,” but added that did not mean to say she agreed with the Alabama ruling.

“Our goal is to always do what the parents want with their embryo,” Ms Haley said. “So any physician that is in control of those embryos they owe it to those people, to make sure they protect that embryo and that they do with that embryo what those parents want done with that embryo.” 

For Mr Trump, abortion is a politically perilous issue. 

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