Senator Jay Costa

HARRISBURG − March 4, 2024 − On February 16, the Alabama Supreme Court issued a ruling that declared embryos “children” under Alabama law, an unprecedented step in narrowing crucial reproductive healthcare access for thousands of women. In response to this action, Democratic Leader Jay Costa releases the following statement:

Alabama IVF ruling is the latest win in the Republican campaign against bodily autonomy.

The Republican extremist position on abortion is bigger than abortion – it’s about who can make decisions about women’s bodies. They want to decide whether, when and how you can start a family, that goes from abortion to IVF, and if we aren’t careful – contraceptive care as well.

Their enforcement of the principle that ‘life begins at conception’ leaves no room for you and your doctor to decide what’s best for you. It’s the basis for every regressive action they’ve taken in recent years.

In 2020, Senate Republicans and their hardline anti-abortion platform sought to eliminate your right to get a telemedicine medication abortion prescription – essentially banning abortion during the pandemic.

In 2022, Republicans celebrated the overturn of Roe v Wade, a nearly 50-year precedent that protected your freedom to decide whether to end a pregnancy in the first two trimesters.

Just two weeks later, Senate Republicans here in Pennsylvania passed a bill that would have amended our state’s constitution to say that you have no rights relating to abortion.

In 2023, Republicans pushed a case that would revoke the decades long FDA approval of mifepristone – the drug used for miscarriage management and early medication abortion.

And already in 2024, a Republican-leaning court in Alabama decided that “life” begins at conception and interfered in the ability of families to use in vitro fertilization (IVF).

This is all the same fight for them. Every single legislative action and court decision they advance is about controlling your body. And they aren’t done.

We can be sure that they will go after the legal precedents of Comstock and Griswold that allow you to be prescribed and mailed contraceptives.

When they say now that they oppose the Alabama decision and they support IVF, it’s disingenuous. It is their dogged attacks on abortion that paved the way for that ruling, and it’s what will advance their next attack on your care, your autonomy and the future of your family.

Read more about the PA Senate Democrats’ commitment to quality affordable healthcare for every Pennsylvanian here.