Feb 23, 2024 - News

Gov. Lee says he supports IVF

Collage of culture dishes being prepared to collect eggs egg retrieval surrounded by radial lines

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jens Kalaene/picture alliance via Getty Images

Gov. Bill Lee said he supported in vitro fertilization in an interview Thursday, days after an Alabama Supreme Court ruling created new legal murkiness around the procedure.

State of play: The Alabama court ruled last week that frozen embryos created through IVF are children under state law.

What he's saying: "I'm generally in favor of IVF, without speaking to that case," Lee said in an interview with Politico's Natalie Allison (who previously reported at the Tennessean).

The big picture: The ruling marks the first time a court has recognized frozen embryos as human beings. It raises vast legal questions in the post-Roe landscape, including how and if leftover embryos can ever be disposed of, Axios' Tina Reed reports.

  • IVF advocates worry that the ruling could encourage other states with strict abortion bans to pursue IVF restrictions. Tennessee's abortion ban is among the strictest in the country.

By the numbers: Roughly 2% of children in the U.S. are born using assisted reproductive technology, such as IVF, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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