Alabama’s IVF Decision

The Alabama Supreme Court ruled that cells awaiting implantation for in vitro fertilization are children. The Alabama Supreme Court decided in a wrongful death suit resulting from the destruction of embryos that were part of an in vitro fertilization (IVF) process, in which doctors artificially fertilize eggs outside the womb and then transfer them into a person, that fertilized human eggs have the same status as children.

Therefore, the intentional or accidental destruction of such an embryo falls under the state’s Wrongful Death of a Minor Act.

Many facilities in Alabama will no longer be able to operate. The largest healthcare system in Alabama has announced it is halting its IVF program out of fear of prosecution. About 2% of U.S. births are a product of IVF.

Chief Justice Tom Parker declared that the people of Alabama have adopted the “theologically based view of the sanctity of life” and said that “human life cannot be wrongfully destroyed without incurring the wrath of a holy God.”