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Alabama’s Debate On IVF: Is A Frozen Embryo An unborn Child?

The Alabama Supreme Court has ruled that embryos created through in vitro fertilization (IVF) are considered children. 

This ruling has shocked the state and raised concerns about the future of reproductive rights for women.

The decision led to the suspension of services in several IVF clinics as they grappled with the profound implications of the court’s stance.

On today’s The Briefing episode, Sacha Barbour Gatt speaks with John Sharp, a local news reporter based in Alabama, to learn more about the new ruling.

In 2020, in the city of Mobile, Alabama, a patient walked into a fertility clinic. They went to pick up a tray of several frozen embryos, which freezer-burned their hand, they dropped the tray, and the embryos were destroyed. 

Three couples affected sued the clinic under legislation from 1872 that allows parents to recover damages for a child’s death. 

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This incident soon posed the question of whether a frozen embryo was considered a child?’ 

“I have seen some comments made throughout the country from Republicans that, ‘we’re the party that we go by a pro-life platform and pro-life means that we want to provide life, and IVF does exactly that. So we need to fix this’,” Sharp said.

Sharp said that the State House of Representatives and the State Senate advanced identical legislation late in the evening here in Alabama to protect the IVF providers.”

While the decision is state-specific, it has ignited discussions about the broader implications for reproductive rights in the United States. 

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