Democrats Register Key Win in Alabama House Special Election

Marilyn Lands, who was endorsed by Planned Parenthood, campaigned heavily on abortion access and the IVF ruling by the state Supreme Court.

Democrat Marilyn Lands, who aggressively campaigned for abortion access, won a special election in the Alabama Legislature on March 26.

The issue has become a hot button after a recent state Supreme Court ruling threatening IVF centers.

Ms. Lands won a state House seat representing District 10 beating Republican Teddy Powell in a victory celebrated by Democrats, who claim the state has issued extreme laws against abortion.

The special election was conducted when the seat was left vacant after former Rep. David Cole, a Republican, pleaded guilty to voter fraud. Ms. Lands, a licensed professional counselor, had run and lost to Mr. Cole in 2022.

District 10 includes parts of the cities of Madison and Huntsville.

“Today, Alabama women and families sent a clear message that will be heard in Montgomery and across the nation,“ Ms. Lands said. ”Our legislature must repeal Alabama’s no-exceptions abortion ban, fully restore access to IVF, and protect the right to contraception.

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Endorsed by the nation’s top abortion provider Planned Parenthood, she campaigned for repealing “Alabama’s no-exceptions abortion ban.”

Alabama practices a near-total ban on abortion with exceptions for saving the mother’s life or preventing serious health risks. In February, the state Supreme Court ruled that human embryos kept outside the uterus are children, and thus are covered under wrongful death laws.

The ruling initiated a nationwide discussion with parties bolstering the issue’s significance in the upcoming elections.

“Tonight’s victory is a political earthquake in Alabama—the heart of Republican territory and ground zero for the most egregious attacks on our fundamental freedoms,” said Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee President Heather Williams.

“In the first real test of backlash from voters on attacks on reproductive care and IVF, Alabama voters showed up in force to support Democrat Marilyn Lands, who ran courageously and unabashedly as a defender of reproductive freedoms.”

“This special election is a harbinger of things to come. Republicans across the country have been put on notice that there are consequences to attacks on IVF—from the bluest blue state to the reddest red, voters are choosing to fight for their fundamental freedoms by electing Democrats across the country.”

Republicans hold a 75-27 advantage over Democrats in the Alabama state House. Ms. Lands is expected to finish her term in 2026.

“Tonight’s results should serve as a major warning sign for Trump: Voters will not stand for his attacks on reproductive health care. This November will be no different,” Biden-Harris campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said.

Abortion Laws, IVF Ruling

Alabama’s IVF clinics were impacted when the state Supreme Court ruled that human embryos were technically “children,” and thus covered under wrongful death laws.

The case was brought by a group of couples against a fertility clinic operated by the Center for Reproductive Medicine after a patient at the center wandered into the clinic, entered the cryogenic nursery, and removed several embryos.

Since the embryos were stored at subzero temperatures, the removal “freeze-burned” the patient’s hands, causing the individual to drop the embryos on the floor, which ended up killing them.

The plaintiffs subsequently sued the center and the association managing it, pointing out that the facility was obligated to keep the cryogenic nursery secured and monitored at all times. They asserted claims under Alabama’s Wrongful Death of a Minor Act.

The defendants argued that not creating an exemption for extrauterine children would result in “undesirable” public policy outcomes.

They claimed that the lack of an exemption would “substantially increase the cost of IVF in Alabama” and make cryogenic preservation onerous. The Medical Association of the State of Alabama stated in its amicus brief that the “costs and storage issues would be prohibitive.”

Following a nationwide backlash on the ruling, the House and Senate passed a law offering protections and exemptions to clinics. Gov. Kay Ivey, a Republican, signed it, saying IVF was a “complex issue.” She encouraged IVF clinics to continue providing services in the state.
Former President Donald Trump has opposed the Alabama Supreme Court ruling and urged the state legislature to “act quickly” to protect IVF treatments.
“We want to make it easier for mothers and fathers to have babies, not harder! That includes supporting the availability of fertility treatments like IVF in every State in America,” he said in a Truth Social post.

“Like the OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of Americans, including the VAST MAJORITY of Republicans, Conservatives, Christians, and Pro-Life Americans, I strongly support the availability of IVF for couples who are trying to have a precious baby.”

President Trump has not yet revealed his position on a national abortion ban but warned Republicans not to push for stringent laws that could adversely affect elections.

The former president said that his stance on abortions hasn’t hurt him “from the standpoint of elections.” However, many other Republicans have been “hurt a lot” by speaking on the issue. He suggested this was because GOP members were taking extreme positions.

“I think you have to have the three exceptions” to abortion laws, which refers to allowing abortions in cases involving rape, incest, and protecting the life of the mother.

“I tell people, No. 1, you have to go with your heart. You have to go with your heart. But beyond that, you also have to get elected. And if you don’t have the three exceptions, I think it’s very, very hard to get elected,” President Trump said.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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