Frozen embryos are children, Alabama Supreme Court rules: ‘All human beings bear the image of God’

by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News February 20, 2024

Frozen embryos are children and will therefore be given the same protections under state law, Alabama’s Supreme Court ruled on Friday.

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Parker

The decision came in a lawsuit brought by a group of in vitro fertilization (IVF) patients whose frozen embryos were destroyed in December 2020 when a patient removed them from a cryogenic storage unit and dropped them on the ground at the Center for Reproductive Medicine in Mobile.

“Human life cannot be wrongfully destroyed without incurring the wrath of a holy God, who views the destruction of His image as an affront to Himself,” Chief Justice Parker wrote. “Even before birth, all human beings bear the image of God, and their lives cannot be destroyed without effacing his glory.”

Six of the court’s nine judges in the state’s highest court ruled in favor of the landmark decision.

The plaintiffs in the IVF clinic case filed two lawsuits against the Center for Reproductive Medicine. They alleged that the clinic was in violation of Alabama’s Wrongful Death of a Minor Act, which applies to unborn babies.

“The relevant statutory text is clear: the Wrongful Death of a Minor Act applies on its face to all unborn children, without limitation,” the court’s decision stated.

Lawyers for the clinic had filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuits, which was granted by a trial court. It argued that a frozen embryo could not fall within the definition of a “person” or “child.”

The defendants claimed the Friday ruling could have devastating consequences for families considering IVF in the future, by making it substantially more expensive as clinics will now worry about the cost of potential accidents and lawsuits.

The court dismissed this as a concern for politicians, not the justice system.

“While we appreciate the defendants’ concerns, these types of policy focused arguments belong before the Legislature, not this Court,” the ruling stated.

The plaintiffs also accused the clinic of negligence and sought monetary compensation. This part of their claim is now being considered by the court.

Your Choice

Quality Resource for Citizen Journalists