Alabama hospital to end IVF services

A south Alabama hospital that was at the center of a state Supreme Court ruling on the status of frozen embryos said it would no longer provide in vitro fertilization treatments after this year.

In a statement shared with Becker's, Hannah Peterson, a spokesperson for the Mobile, Ala.-based Infirmary Health hospital system, said Infirmary Health has temporarily resumed IVF treatments at the hospital but will end the services after Dec. 31 "in light of litigation concerns surrounding IVF therapy." 

The Center for Reproductive Medicine, which leases space and uses lab services in Infirmary Health's Mobile hospital, said in a separate statement shared with The New York Times that it also resumed IVF treatment and would relocate to new facilities in Mobile and Daphne, Ala.

The decisions follow a February Alabama Supreme Court ruling that classified frozen embryos as children and will allow couples to file wrongful death claims against Infirmary Health and the Center for Reproductive Medicine over the accidental destruction of their frozen embryos. This ruling initially led to IVF clinics and providers in the state halting procedures, citing fears over possible legal repercussions for their patients and providers.

After the Alabama Supreme Court ruling, lawmakers in the state worked on legislation that would shield clinics and physicians from prosecution over IVF procedures. The new law does not apply to the Infirmary Health case or other embryo-related lawsuits in progress prior to its enaction, according to the Times.

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