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Frozen Embryos Are Unborn Children

alabama supreme court control On Friday, it announced that frozen embryos are considered fetuses under state law, and anyone who destroys them could be held liable.

The case centers on whether the reproductive health center can be held liable under the Wrongful Death of Minors Act after patients accessed, dropped, and destroyed several couples’ frozen embryos in 2020. There is. Embryos were created for the required process. In in vitro fertilization (IVF), “mature eggs are taken from the ovaries, fertilized by sperm in a laboratory, and [and] A procedure then takes place in which one or more fertilized eggs, called embryos, are placed in the uterus, where the baby will grow. ” according to Go to Mayo Clinic.

The state’s high court ultimately reversed a lower court’s decision not to recognize frozen embryos as fetuses. The Alabama Supreme Court has ruled that it is “public policy” to recognize “the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children,” based on the Sanctity of Unborn Life Amendment adopted into the state constitution in 2018. he declared.

“This court has held that a fetus is a “child” for purposes of Alabama’s Wrongful Death of a Minor Act, which allows parents of a deceased child to recover punitive damages for the child’s death. “This has been the case for a long time,” the opinion states.

“The central issue raised in these consolidated appeals concerns the death of embryos kept in cryogenic nurseries, and the law does not include extrauterine children, i.e. children born outside the biological womb. “The question is whether there is an implied exception to that rule for the fetus located at the moment it is killed,” the judge continued. “Under the current Black Book Act, the answer to that question is no. The Wrongful Death of a Minor Act applies to all unborn children, regardless of where they live.”

The justices said the provisions of the Wrongful Death of Minors Act were “broad and unqualified.”

Infertility treatment using embryo biotechnology. (Getty Images)

“This applies without restriction to all children, born and unborn,” they wrote. “It is not the role of this court to create new limits based on our own views about what is or is not prudent public policy.” This is especially the case if a constitutional amendment is adopted whose direct purpose is to prevent the exclusion of the “fetus” from legal protection.”

In a concurring opinion, Judge Tom Parker cited the Bible when considering the “sanctity of the unborn child.”

“No human life can be unjustly destroyed without incurring the wrath of a holy God, who considers the destruction of his images an affront to himself,” Parker wrote. “Every human being bears the image of God before he is born, and his life cannot be destroyed without diminishing the glory of God.”

Judge Gregory Cook dissented, warning that the decision “almost certainly eliminates the creation of frozen embryos through in vitro fertilization (IVF) in Alabama.”

Parker disagreed with Cooke’s assessment, writing that the Alabama Legislature could choose to legislate in the field of IVF, but that IVF has been “largely unregulated in the United States” for decades. Some commentators even likened it to the Wild West.

“For example, in Australia and New Zealand, prevailing ethical standards dictate that doctors usually create only one embryo at a time,” he wrote.

he added:

Regarding the related issue of embryo transfer (the process of implanting an embryo into the uterus), in Australia and New Zealand, over 90% of embryo transfers occur only once at a time. Similarly, European Union (“EU”) countries have legal limits on the number of embryos transferred in one cycle. In EU countries, 58% of embryo transfers contain only one embryo and 38% contain two embryos. Therefore, 96% of embryo transfers in EU countries involve no more than two transfers at a time.

Such restrictions on embryo creation and transfer necessarily reduce or eliminate the need for long-term embryo storage. Italy went a step further, banning the cryopreservation of embryos unless there are genuine health risks or force majeure that prevent them from being transferred immediately after creation21. All these measures protect the life of the unborn child and still allow the couple to become parents.

“Thus, while this decision will result in certain changes to the IVF industry’s current embryo creation and handling in Alabama, to the extent that Judge Cook predicts that IVF will end in Alabama; “There appears to be no sufficient basis for that prediction,” he concluded.

This is the first such judgment. washington post report.

“[A]According to the reproductive rights group Pregnancy Justice, at least 11 states have state laws that broadly define personhood as beginning at conception…” the report states.

The case is Lepage vs. Reproductive Medicine CenterNo. SC-2022-515 and No. SC-2022-579 of the Supreme Court of Alabama.

Katherine Hamilton is a political reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow her at @thekat_Hamilton.

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