skip to Main Content

Alabama Supreme Court Rules That Embryos Are Humans

A few days after the Alabama Supreme Court ruled embryos that are formed through in-vitro fertilization are considered children, the University of Alabama at Birmingham halted IVF treatments citing consideration of the “legal repercussions of the decision.”

“We are saddened that this will impact our patients’ attempt to have a baby through IVF, but we must evaluate the potential that our patients and our physicians could be prosecuted criminally or face punitive damages for following the standard of care for IVF treatments,” Hannah Echols, a UAB spokesperson said. 

The IVF procedure combines a sperm and egg in a lab, forming an embryo. It is then implanted into a woman’s uterus. 

Echols stated that the UAB’s Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility will continue to offer egg retrieval, which collects eggs from one or more ovaries but will not fertilize eggs or develop embryos.

The Alabama Supreme Court ruled on a case in which a person allegedly strolled into an unlocked storage area at a fertility clinic in Mobile, Alabama, and dropped many frozen embryos on the floor.

The court emphasized that the failure to secure that storage area violated the state’s Wrongful Death Act, which states that an act of negligence or an unjustified act which leads to someone’s death is deemed as a civil offense, thus considering the frozen embryos as human beings.

The ruling however, “does not appear to create criminal liability for IVF providers in the practice of IVF [or] the creation of embryos for IVF,” said Gail Deady,  a senior staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights.

If you value our journalism…

TMJ News is committed to remaining an independent, reader-funded news platform. A small donation from our valuable readers like you keeps us running so that we can keep our reporting open to all! We’ve launched a fundraising campaign to raise the $10,000 we need to meet our publishing costs this year, and it’d mean the world to us if you’d make a monthly or one-time donation to help. If you value what we publish and agree that our world needs alternative voices like ours in the media, please give what you can today.


Back To Top