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Biden blasts Alabama Supreme Court's IVF ruling as Harris, campaign blame Trump

President Joe Biden called the Alabama Supreme Court's ruling “a direct result of the overturning of Roe v. Wade."
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President Joe Biden on Thursday ripped into the Alabama Supreme Court’s recent decision on in vitro fertilization as Vice President Kamala Harris and their campaign cast blame on former President Donald Trump for rolling back abortion rights with his appointments of conservatives to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In a statement Thursday afternoon, Biden condemned the Alabama high court's ruling, calling it a “direct result” of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2022 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The state court's ruling prompted the University of Alabama at Birmingham to pause IVF treatments.

“Today, in 2024 in America, women are being turned away from emergency rooms and forced to travel hundreds of miles for health care, while doctors fear prosecution for providing an abortion. And now, a court in Alabama put access to some fertility treatments at risk for families who are desperately trying to get pregnant,” Biden said. “The disregard for women’s ability to make these decisions for themselves and their families is outrageous and unacceptable.”

The president said he and Vice President Kamala Harris are committed to fighting for reproductive rights and “won’t stop until we restore the protections of Roe v. Wade in federal law for all women in every state.”

At a roundtable event on abortion access in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Thursday, Harris also criticized the Alabama ruling and blamed Trump.

"On the one hand, the proponents are saying that an individual doesn’t have a right to end an unwanted pregnancy and on the other hand, the individual does not have a right to start a family," she said.

"Ask who's to blame," she added later. "And I'll answer that question: When you look at the fact that the previous president of the United States was clear in his intention to hand-pick three Supreme Court justices who would overturn the protections of Roe v. Wade. And he did it. And that's what got us to this point today."

Biden's re-election campaign also directly blamed Trump for the state court's ruling, citing the conservative justices he appointed to the Supreme Court.

“What is happening in Alabama right now is only possible because Donald Trump’s Supreme Court justices overturned Roe v. Wade,” Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said in a Thursday morning statement. “Across the nation, MAGA Republicans are inserting themselves into the most personal decisions a family can make, from contraception to IVF.”

“With their latest attack on reproductive freedom, these so-called pro-life Republicans are preventing loving couples from growing their families,” she added. “If Donald Trump is elected, there is no question that he will impose his extreme anti-freedom agenda on the entire country.”

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Alabama Supreme Court ruled that embryos created through IVF are children under state law, prompting legal concerns among doctors and patients over unused embryos that get discarded in the process.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham announced Wednesday that it would stop IVF treatments in light of the high court’s ruling, citing possible legal repercussions as a result of the decision.

“We are saddened that this will impact our patients’ attempt to have a baby through IVF, but we must evaluate the potential that our patients and our physicians could be prosecuted criminally or face punitive damages for following the standard of care for IVF treatments,” a university spokesperson said in a statement.

Democrats, including Harris, have voiced their opposition to the Alabama Supreme Court’s ruling, decrying it as another threat to reproductive rights after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022.

“This decision is outrageous—and it is already robbing women of the freedom to decide when and how to build a family,” Harris said in a post to X, formerly known as Twitter, on Wednesday.

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley, however, sided with the Alabama Supreme Court’s IVF ruling in an interview with NBC News on Wednesday, saying that frozen embryos created through IVF are “babies” when asked whether she agrees with the court’s ruling stating that embryos created through IVF are considered children and are offered those same protections.

“Embryos, to me, are babies,” Haley told NBC News. “When you talk about an embryo, you are talking about, to me, that’s a life. And so I do see where that’s coming from when they talk about that.”

Haley, however, later backpedaled, saying that her personal position is that embryos are babies while claiming she didn’t say she agreed with the Alabama Supreme Court ruling.

“I didn’t say that I agreed with the Alabama ruling,” Haley said in an interview on CNN on Wednesday night.

Haley went on to argue that the goal of medical providers should be to “always do what the parents want with their embryo — it is theirs,” adding, “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.”