Lawmakers at the federal level are taking steps to protect in vitro fertilization, or IVF.

Alabama's Supreme Court ruled last month those embryos are children with rights, leading many providers to stop services over liability concerns. The state's lawmakers quickly passed a law to try and restore protections and allow some clinics to reopen.

While the legislation was introduced prior to that ruling, members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have considered it a wakeup call to ensure these procedures are protected.

“I can’t fathom how devastating this news must have been for families who are struggling with fertility,” U.S. Rep. Joe Morelle said Friday in Rochester.

Morelle, a Democrat, pledged his support for the Access to Family Building Act, federal legislation that would preempt state and local laws that restrict access to services like IVF.

“The access to family building act establishes a right for individuals to access assisted reproductive technology services without prohibition or interference from federal or state governments,” he said.

There has been bipartisan support for IVF protections. Republican U.S. Rep. Marc Molinaro of the Hudson Valley and Southern Tier signed on as a co-sponsor of the bill.

Molinaro, who has notably broken with some Republican colleagues on reproductive health care issues in the past, emphasized that his decision comes from personal experience and hearing from other families.

“The Alabama court ruled incorrectly and it went well beyond its jurisdiction,” he told Spectrum News 1. “It’s simply important that we take a meaningful step to ensure that women and families understand that IVF is and will be and ought to be accessible to them as they make that choice."

Emma Corbett, vice president of communications at Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts, said access to the procedure is crucial.

“It is one of the cornerstones of reproductive freedom,” she said. “It’s something that thousands of families have used to grow and expand and create the families they would like to have.”

She said the organization reviews legislation carefully, but is supportive of efforts that genuinely work to protect access to the treatment.

“We will be eager to see where that legislation lands but we are obviously grateful to all of the cosponsors who have singed on, it has a tremendous amount of support,” she said.

A similar bill in the Senate was blocked late last month after Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill. asked for unanimous consent and the bill was blocked by Mississippi Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith.