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The Alabama Supreme Court has made access to IVF more difficult. Recognizing embryos as children had a chilling effect

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Frozen embryos used in in vitro fertilization are considered children under the law, and anyone who accidentally destroys them may be held liable. This is what the Alabama Supreme Court found. This decision could block access to fertilization treatments for many women in the state. Couples who are undergoing procedures are afraid that they will have to stop them. This is another success of this type for American conservatives. In recent years, access to abortion has also become more difficult.

Gabrielle and her husband dream of becoming parents. They spent over $20,000 on in vitro fertilization. A woman who has had three miscarriages is afraid that the procedure will not be completed. – The prospect that we may have to stop the entire process at the most important stage is truly terrifying, admits Gabrielle Goidel, an Alabama resident.

Gabrielle’s concerns are related to the controversial verdict passed in Alabama. The Republican-controlled state Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos used in in vitro fertilization are considered children under the law, and a person who accidentally destroys them could be held liable.

– This is a group of cells. We know that not every embryo survives a few days, let alone gives birth. The claim that every embryo is a child is inconsistent with facts, contradicts science and is an insult to the millions of children born through in vitro fertilization, says Barbara Collura of the National Infertility Association.

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The case is related to a lawsuit brought by three couples whose embryos were accidentally destroyed in 2020 by one of the patients at an infertility treatment clinic. The couples tried to sue the clinic under the state’s death of a minor statute. This law covers fetuses, but does not apply to embryos resulting from in vitro fertilization. A lower court ruled that the embryos were not children, but the Alabama Supreme Court sided with the plaintiffs. – Embryos are frozen and stored for years. There are people with cancer who want to save embryos for the future in case they try to get pregnant later. There are women who have undergone in vitro fertilization and would like to have a second child. So what is the status of all frozen embryos in Alabama? Who has the right to decide their fate? – asks Barbara Collura.

The parents of an in vitro child filed a lawsuit over words about “breeding” childrenAttention TVN

Legal precedent?

The ruling does not ban or restrict in vitro fertilization, but experts say it raises many questions about what aspects of the procedure are legal under Alabama law. Fearing legal consequences, the largest hospital in Alabama has suspended in vitro procedures. “We are saddened that this will impact the efforts of our patients who attempt to conceive through in vitro fertilization. We must evaluate whether our patients and physicians can be held criminally liable for following the in vitro fertilization procedure,” reads an excerpt from the release. by the declaration facility.

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Abortion opponents welcomed the court’s ruling. They hope other states will follow Alabama’s lead. – In the process of in vitro fertilization, hundreds of thousands of embryos are rejected, killed and lost. As supporters of the right to life, we believe that this is an unethical treatment of human life – explains Christina Bennett, a representative of the “Live Action” organization.

While the Alabama ruling applies only within the state, experts say courts in other parts of the country may begin issuing similar rulings. To date, over eight million babies have been born thanks to in vitro fertilization in the United States.

Author:Justyna Kazimierczak

Facts about the World TVN24 BiS

Main photo source: Reuters

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