NY lawmaker proposing bill on IVF treatment

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Aftershocks are still being felt across the country, following the Alabama Supreme Court’s ruling that says embryos can be considered children.

Here in New York State, Republicans in Albany are sponsoring legislation in direct response to that ruling.

The new legislation is being sponsored by Republican State Senator Jack Martins from Long Island, who says the state needs to ensure that infertility treatment is available and that Alabama’s ruling is a potential threat to families who are trying to have children.

Senate bill 8682 would add a new section to state Public Health law, prohibiting a fertilized human egg or embryo in a laboratory from being considered an unborn child. The proposed law is in direct response to last month’s ruling in Alabama on in vitro fertilization, which could have impacts on fertility treatment in the U.S. and put into question the practice of IVF. Some lawmakers say Albany needs to send a clear message that they’re protecting families.

“They shouldn’t have to have question marks as to how they should treat a frozen embryo that could not possibly survive outside of a woman’s body in the event that there is catastrophic loss in the event that there’s damage in some way all kinds of things can happen,” Martins said.

New York’s IVF law went into effect four years ago. Planned Parenthood is criticizing this proposed legislation saying it’s an attempt to confuse people on New York’s existing protections for abortion, IVF, and reproductive freedom.

“Senator Martins, in an attempt to distance himself from the extreme actions of his Republican colleagues in other states, is creating political theatre,” a statement says.

Planned Parenthood says lawmakers instead should be focused on providing resources for families. This bill on IVF has been sent to the Senate’s Health Committee. It would take effect right away if approved.

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Jeff Preval is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here.

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