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Controversial AL Court Ruling on IVF, FL Lawmakers Pass Health Care Workforce Bills & More

February 27, 2024 (2 min read)

AL High Court IVF Ruling Draws Backlash

Alabama’s Supreme Court ruled in a wrongful death case that frozen embryos used for in vitro fertilization are people, bringing IVF procedures at several state hospitals to a halt and drawing widespread disapproval, including from some Republican governors.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) called the IVF ruling “scary,” taking particular issue with the concurrence from Chief Justice Tom Parker that relied heavily on scripture.

“There’s two issues: No. 1, I mean, you have the separation of church and state, and using theology and opinions and all that. Let’s not start bashing Christians. I believe wholeheartedly in Christianity,” he said in an interview on CNN. “It sounds to me like obviously that judge overstepped his bounds in terms of using those arguments to make his case.”

He added: “If you based everything on religion, your own personal religion behind the bench, it would be chaos everywhere.”

Alabama Sen. Tim Melson (R), an anesthesiologist and clinical researcher who chairs his chamber’s health care committee, is planning to introduce a bill to narrow the ruling. (ROUTE FIFTY)

FL Legislature Passes Health Care Workforce Bills

Florida lawmakers gave final approval to legislation (SB 7016 and SB 7018) that would allocate $700 million for bolstering the state’s health care workforce. Among other things, the measures would provide funding for training and residency programs, and provide new paths to licensure for foreign doctors and recent medical school graduates.

The measures were part of a package of health care-related measures that were a top priority for Senate President Kathleen Passidomo (R). As of Feb. 1, over 100 measures referring to health care workforce were pending in 25 states. (PLURIBUS NEWS, LEXISNEXIS STATE NET)

IA Senate Passes Postpartum Medicaid Coverage Extension

Iowa’s Senate passed a bill (SF 2251) that would extend Medicaid coverage to new mothers for a full year after they give birth. The measure would also lower the income threshold to qualify for such postpartum coverage, cutting off access to about 1,700 new mothers per month. Iowa, Idaho and Arkansas are the only three states that haven’t implemented 12-month postpartum coverage. (DES MOINES REGISTER, LEXISNEXIS STATE NET)

—Compiled by SNCJ Managing Editor KOREY CLARK

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