Harris slams Alabama IVF ruling as hypocritical, 'shocking'

Vice President Harris on Thursday bashed the Alabama Supreme Court ruling that frozen embryos are people as hypocritical and placed the blame on former President Trump.

“Think about that, individuals, couples, who want to start a family are now being deprived of access to what can help them start a family,” she said. “So 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.”

The Alabama Supreme Court ruling did not ban in vitro fertilization (IVF), but experts have cautioned that it could prevent doctors from performing IVF, which carries the risk of destroying embryos. Three clinics in the state so far have paused the treatments.

More broadly, the ruling is poised to open a new front in the fight over reproductive rights.

“The decision by the court in Alabama is shocking and at the same time, post-Dobbs decision, not surprising,” Harris told reporters later Thursday. “What we have seen in Alabama, it has now been attacked, and access to reproductive health care through IVF is being taken from countless individuals and families.”

She added that the “irony” of the decision is that proponents are suggesting women don’t have “the right to end an unwanted pregnancy” but also don’t “have the right to become pregnant if that is her choice and her decision and her dream.”

Harris blamed Trump, the GOP front-runner, for his hand in the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which she said led to decisions like the one in Alabama.

“One must then ask well, okay, how did it happen? And I would say, ask who’s to blame. And I’ll answer that question,” she said. “When you look at the fact that the previous president of the United States was clear in his intention to handpick 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.”

She went on to bash the “hypocrisy” of bans on reproductive rights after Roe.

“The hypocrisy [abounds] on this issue when you also consider that in the top 10 states with maternal mortality, there are abortion bans,” she said, adding that she has challenged states that are “silent” on maternal mortality that disproportionately impacts Black women.

Harris spoke at a roundtable in Michigan alongside Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) and other Michigan lawmakers. The Democratic primary in Michigan is Tuesday.

The roundtable was part of the “Fight for Reproductive Freedoms” tour that Harris, who has been a leading voice out of the White House on reproductive rights, convenes.

President Biden earlier Thursday also bashed the ruling, calling it “outrageous and unacceptable.” 

“And now, a court in Alabama put access to some fertility treatments at risk for families who are desperately trying to get pregnant,” he said.

The Biden-Harris reelection campaign tied the Alabama decision to Trump’s appointment of Supreme Court justices, adding, “these so-called pro-life Republicans are preventing loving couples from growing their families.”

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