Arizona attorney general says she’ll fight for IVF access in wake of Alabama ruling

Mar 6, 2024, 3:00 PM

IVF access in Arizona still strong despite Alabama fertility ruling...

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes called the Alabama Supreme Court's ruling on IVF "outrageous." (File photos: Attorney General's Office, left, Jay L. Clendenin for The Washington Post via Getty Images, right)

(File photos: Attorney General's Office, left, Jay L. Clendenin for The Washington Post via Getty Images, right)

PHOENIX — IVF access in Arizona remains strong despite federal concerns over its legality, Attorney General Kris Mayes said in a Wednesday statement.

“Despite the outrageous ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court last month that put the future of IVF treatment in doubt in that state, it remains legal in Arizona,” Mayes said in a statement. “My office will fight like hell to keep it that way.”

The Alabama Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos can be considered children under state law in late February. The judges ruled in response to two wrongful death cases brought to court by couples whose frozen embryos were accidentally destroyed at a fertility clinic.

The decision triggered a countrywide wave of panic over IVF accessibility.

IVF is a method of conception that fertilized eggs with sperm outside the body. It is a type of assisted reproductive treatment that helps people dealing with infertility.

Assisted reproductive treatments like IVF facilitated the births of 1,541 live babies in Arizona in 2021, according to the most recent CDC data.

IVF access in Arizona after Alabama Supreme Court ruling

Mayes said “right-wing extremists” in Congress have blocked efforts to ensure the nationwide legality of IVF.

She said Arizonans who try to access IVF will not be penalized for abortion if some of their fertilized eggs are destroyed. That’s because Arizona law does not mention “conception or the implantation of a fertilized ovum the uterus” in its definition of abortion.

The attorney general’s office established a reproductive rights unit last year. The unit is monitoring legal developments across the country as well as in Arizona, Mayes said.

“We will be ready to fight back against any attempts to restrict the personal medical decisions of Arizonans,” she said.

The topic is personal for Mayes.

“I was able to start my family and give birth to my daughter because of IVF treatment,” she said. “I will do everything possible to ensure every Arizonan can choose when and how to start their family without interference.”

Concern over reproductive rights in Arizona after explosive court rulings

Reproductive rights advocates in Arizona have been mobilizing since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade two years ago.

Last year, a coalition of organizations launched Arizona for Abortion Access, which wants to collect enough petitions to put abortion rights on the November ballot. They need nearly 400,000 valid signatures by July 3 to qualify for the ballot.

Mayes referenced the court’s historic reversal in her Wednesday statement.

“The chaos that has ensued since the US Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade two years ago is both predictable and maddening,” she said. “The fall of Roe has opened the floodgates for activist judges like those that make up the Alabama Supreme Court to attempt to impose their extremist beliefs on the rest of us.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Arizona attorney general says she’ll fight for IVF access in wake of Alabama ruling