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Abbott Backs IVF Availability

Gov. Greg Abbott
Gov. Greg Abbott | Image by Evan L'Roy/The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott expressed support on Sunday for in vitro fertilization in response to a recent Alabama Supreme Court ruling that prompted fertility clinics to stop offering the artificial pregnancy service out of an abundance of caution.

The ruling determined that frozen human embryos, which have a unique set of DNA, are considered human beings, meaning those who discard the embryos may be liable for wrongful death. The in vitro fertilization (IVF) process artificially produces an embryo by fertilizing an egg with sperm. The embryos are then frozen and stored at clinics before being transferred to a woman’s uterus in the hopes of starting a pregnancy.

Abbott addressed the ruling during an interview with CNN.

“President Trump put out a statement on this that I think a lot of people agree with, and that is a goal that we all kind of want to achieve. And that is we want to make it easier for people to be able to have babies, not … make it harder,” Abbott said.

“And the IVF process is a way of giving life to even more babies. And so, what I think the goal is to make sure that we can find a pathway to ensure that parents who otherwise may not have the opportunity to have a child will be able to have access to the IVF process and become parents and give life to babies,” the governor continued.

Abbott referenced Trump’s statement on the ruling, which was released Friday on Truth Social and supported the availability of IVF.

“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,” Trump wrote.

“Like the OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of Americans, including the VAST MAJORITY of Republicans, Conservatives, Christians, and Pro-Life Americans, I strongly support the availability of IVF for couples who are trying to have a precious baby,” Trump continued.

“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 wrote. “The Republican Party should always be on the side of the Miracle of Life — and the side of Mothers, Fathers, and their Beautiful Babies. IVF is an important part of that, and our Great Republican Party will always be with you, in your quest, for the ULTIMATE JOY IN LIFE!”

Abbott was asked by CNN if he would push the Texas legislature to protect IVF access from any potential Texas court ruling similar to the Alabama Supreme Court’s. His response did not directly acknowledge the possibility of such an event.

“Texas is a pro-life state, and we want to do everything possible that we can to maintain Texas being a pro-life state,” Abbott said. “But at the very same time, I think Texans agree with what President Trump said, and that is we, as a state, want to ensure that we promote life, we bring more life into the world, and we empower parents to be able to have more children.”

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