President Joe Biden called for nationwide access to in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments during the State of the Union address Thursday, condemning the recent ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court while ignoring the legislation passed to guarantee protections.

“History is watching another assault on freedom,” Biden said.

He pointed to Birmingham social worker Latorya Beasley, who was in the audience, as someone who had been impacted by Alabama’s IVF ruling. She had given birth to a child 14 months ago as a result of IFV, but her desire for a second has been put on hold, Biden said.

Latorya Beasley Alabama News
Birmingham social worker Latorya Beasley, who was in the audience at the State of the Union address. (YouTube)

“She scheduled treatment to have that second child, but the Alabama Supreme Court shut down IFV treatments across the state, unleashed by a Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade,” Biden said. “She was told her dream would have to wait. What her family had gone through should have never happened. Unless Congress acts, it could happen again.”

On Wednesday, Gov. Kay Ivey signed legislation providing civil and criminal immunity to in-vitro fertilization IVF clinics for death or damage to embryos, which could be defined as children under the state's wrongful death statute, according to the Alabama Supreme Court. The protections would apply retroactively, minus cases currently under litigation.

Later in his speech, Biden referenced Alabama again, this time regarding voting rights.

“A transformational moment in history happened 59 years ago today in Selma, Alabama,” he said. “Hundreds of foot soldiers for justice marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, named after the grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan to claim their fundamental right to vote. They were beaten, they were bloodied and left for dead. Our late friend and former colleague John Lewis was on that march. We miss him.”

Biden said the right to vote was under attack again, ostensibly by Republicans, and encouraged Congress to pass the Right to Vote Act.

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