Nation’s top health official to visit Alabama in wake of IVF ruling

Feb 26, 2024, 12:22 PM

FILE - Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra testifies during a hearing of the Senate ...

FILE - Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra testifies during a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Capitol Hill, Nov. 8, 2023, in Washington. The Biden administration will send Becerra, the nation's top health official, to meet with patients and doctors in Alabama on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, to discuss a controversial court ruling that upended in vitro fertilization treatment, or IVF, in the state. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is sending the nation’s top health official to Alabama for discussions with patients and doctors about the controversial court ruling that upended in vitro fertilization treatment in the state.

The ruling by the Republican-controlled Alabama Supreme Court has unexpectedly propelled the issue of IVF into the presidential campaign conversation right ahead of Super Tuesday voting on March 5.

The visit by Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra comes just days after former President Donald Trump vowed to protect access to the fertility care.

President Joe Biden and his allies have been quick to seize on last week’s ruling — which says that frozen embryos can be considered children under state law and threatens the future of fertility care in the state — as evidence that Republicans have gone too far with restricting reproductive care. Some Republicans, too, have said they’re alarmed by the ruling.

Biden called the ruling “outrageous” in a statement. Vice President Kamala Harris described the decision as the epitome of “irony,” since it could impede families’ ability to have children.

Several clinics have paused IVF treatment since the court’s decision came down. Some lawmakers in the state say they’re scrambling for a fix.

Trump, who appointed anti-abortion judges to the U.S. Supreme Court and in federal judgeships around the country, came out strongly against the ruling on Friday saying on his own social media platform, “We want to make it easier for mothers and fathers to have babies, not harder!”

During his visit to Alabama, Becerra will meet with patients and doctors who have been impacted by the state court’s ruling on Tuesday.

“The decision in Alabama will have heart-wrenching consequences for women & their families,” Becerra said in a social media post reacting to the ruling last week.

National News

Associated Press

Arizona man sold firearms to undercover FBI agent for mass shooting, indictment says

PHOENIX (AP) — A firearms dealer in Arizona sold weapons to an undercover federal agent he believed would help him carry out his plan for a mass shooting targeting minorities, an attack that he hoped would “incite a race war,” according to a federal grand jury indictment. Mark Adams Prieto was indicted Tuesday by the […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Neil Goldschmidt, former Oregon governor who confessed to sex with a minor in the 1970s, has died

Neil Goldschmidt, a former Oregon governor whose confession that he had sex with a 14-year-old girl in the 1970s blackened what had been a nearly sterling reputation, has died. He was 83. Goldschmidt died at his Portland home on Wednesday, The Oregonian reported, according to family members. The newspaper said the reported cause was heart […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Man charged with robbing a California bank was released from prison a day earlier, prosecutors say

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A man charged with taking three people hostage while robbing a Southern California bank last month had been released from prison a day earlier, federal prosecutors said Wednesday. The 53-year-old was indicted on robbery charges after investigators said he claimed to have a gun, jumped over the teller counter and […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

South Carolina man pleads guilty in federal court to fatally shooting Virginia police officer

ABINGDON, Va. (AP) — A South Carolina man pleaded guilty to federal charges Wednesday in the shooting death of a police officer in southwest Virginia in 2021. Michael Donivan White, 36, of Cross, South Carolina, had already pleaded guilty to first-degree murder charges in state court. The federal counts include drug charges and causing the […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Democrats in Congress say federal mediators should let airline workers strike when it’s ‘necessary’

A group of 32 senators say federal mediators should speed up labor negotiations between airlines and their flight attendants and other workers, even granting them permission to go on strike “as necessary.” The lawmakers said Wednesday that airlines feel no pressure to reach contract agreements quickly because federal law makes it difficult for airline workers […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Tennessee sheriff indicted for profiting from inmate labor, misusing funds

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The sheriff of a rural Tennessee county illegally profited from the work of jail inmates under his supervision and housed dozens of them in a home outside of the prison without permission, officials said Wednesday. Gibson County Sheriff Paul Thomas was indicted in May in Gibson and Davidson counties on 22 […]

6 hours ago

Nation’s top health official to visit Alabama in wake of IVF ruling