HomeoldAlabama Supreme Court rules embryos created via IVF are human children

Alabama Supreme Court rules embryos created via IVF are human children

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In a ruling last week, the Alabama Supreme Court determined that human embryos created via in vitro fertilisation (IVF) are to be considered children protected by law under the state’s wrongful death act and the Alabama Constitution.

The case of LePage v. Mobile Infirmary Clinic, Inc. originated when the frozen embryos of several couples stored at the Center for Reproductive Medicine at the Mobile Infirmary Medical Center were destroyed after a client gained access to the facility and handled the embryos, resulting in their destruction.

In their lawsuit, the couples advanced the argument that the embryos should be considered people under the state’s wrongful death statute. A lower court had previously ruled that the embryos were not human beings. However, the Supreme Court’s 8-1 decision overturned that ruling.

The court also ruled that the Alabama Constitution’s Sanctity of Life Amendment, which was ratified in 2018, required the court to rule in favour of the preborn. The amendment states that it is the public policy of the state to recognise and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, including the right to life.

In a written opinion, Justice James “Jay” Mitchell, writing for the court, stated that “unborn children are ‘children’ under the Act, without exception based on developmental stage, physical location, or any other ancillary characteristics.”

The Wrongful Death of a Minor Act is a sweeping and unqualified piece of legislation. The Act applies to all children, born and unborn, without limitation. It is not within the purview of this Court to create a new limitation based on its own assessment of what constitutes wise public policy. This is particularly pertinent in the context of the State Constitution, which has been amended to prohibit the exclusion of ‘unborn life’ from legal protection. Mitchell further wrote.

The court observed that there is no unwritten exception to the law and that it applies to all children, including those who are “unborn children who are not physically located ‘in utero’ — that is, inside a biological uterus — at the time they are killed.”

In response to the ruling, Live Action founder and president issued a statement in which he said,

“This decision by the Alabama Supreme Court reaffirms the scientific reality that a new human life begins at the moment of fertilisation. Every human being, from the tiniest embryo to an elderly person nearing the end of life, has an inestimable value that deserves and is guaranteed legal protection. This ruling, which involved a wrongful death claim brought by parents against a fertility clinic that negligently caused the death of their children, rightly recognised the humanity of unborn children created through in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and is an important step towards the application of equal protection for all”.

The term “embryo” is used to denote a stage in human development, comparable to the terms “infant,” “toddler,” or “teenager.” The preborn child is a human being with its own distinct DNA from the moment of conception, regardless of the embryo’s size. The case serves to illustrate one of the most significant problems associated with in vitro fertilisation (IVF), namely that of the creation and subsequent discarding of numerous embryonic preborn children when they are deemed unfit or unwanted.


Daniel Miller is responsible for nearly all of National Right to Life News' political writing.

With the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, Daniel Miller developed a deep obsession with U.S. politics that has never let go of the political scientist. Whether it's the election of Joe Biden, the midterm elections in Congress, the abortion rights debate in the Supreme Court or the mudslinging in the primaries - Daniel Miller is happy to stay up late for you.

Daniel was born and raised in New York. After living in China, working for a news agency and another stint at a major news network, he now lives in Arizona with his two daughters.

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