Democrat wins Alabama special election in early test for IVF as campaign issue

Democratic candidate Marilyn Lands won a special election for a seat in the House of Representatives in Alabama on Tuesday after making in vitro fertilization And right to abortion at the heart of his campaign.

Lands, a licensed professional counselor, defeated Madison City Council Member Teddy Powell, a Republican who once worked as a budget analyst at the Department of Defense. A Republican held the Huntsville-area seat in the state’s 10th District.

“Today, Alabama women and families sent a clear message that will be heard in Montgomery and across the country. Our legislature must repeal Alabama’s no-exceptions ban on abortion, fully restoring the access to IVF and protecting the right to contraception,” Lands said in a statement shared by the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, which supported his candidacy.

Lands received 63% of the vote to Powell’s 37%, with all precincts reporting.

“The voters have spoken and I am honored to have been selected for this position,” Powell said in a statement to Alabama Daily News. “I wish Ms. Lands the best as she continues to serve the people of District 10 in the House of Representatives.”

Powell’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

During her campaign, Lands focused on IVF and abortion access, telling voters she supports repeal the state’s near-total ban on abortion, which took effect after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022.

His campaign website notes support from groups including Planned Parenthood, the Alabama AFL-CIO and the gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety.

Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signed GOP-backed bill to protect IVF after a generalized reaction to a decision by the state Supreme Court in February, which threatened the proceedings. Tuesday’s contest was seen as an early test for Democrats campaigning on IVF after the high court ruling.

The special election was called after David Cole, a Republican who defeated Lands in 2022 by 7 percentage points, pleaded guilty to…

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