Largest Alabama hospital halts IVF treatment after court ruling that frozen embryos protected as unborn children by law

The University of Alabama at Birmingham health system said it would be pausing all IVF treatments.


Alabama's largest hospital has said that it will be pausing all in vitro fertilization treatment on Wednesday after the pro-life court ruling that ruled frozen embryos as children.  

A statement from the the University of Alabama at Birmingham health system read, “We are saddened that this will impact our patients’ attempt to have a baby through IV," according to Dayton Daily News.  

Hospital employees will put a pause on IVF treatment, according to the local outlet, because they fear they would face punitive damages if they engaged in the medical treatment. 

Dr. Michael C. Allemand, who spoke to the outlet, said that the staff is going day by day learning how to handle the ruling. 

The Alabama Supreme Court ruled last Friday that frozen embyros will be considered children.  

In the court ruling, the defendant, the Center for Reproductive Medicine in Mobile, argued that an embryo could not be defined as a child under the law.  

The 8-1 decision disagreed, and stated, that this was "especially true where, as [in Alabama], the People of have adopted a Constitutional amendment directly aimed at stopping courts from excluding 'unborn life' from legal protection." 

During 2018, voters in the state adopted an amendment in the state constitution that upheld "the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children."  

The complaint against the clinic came from multiple parents whose frozen embryos in the care of the center had been destroyed. Parents in the case claimed that the Wrongful Death of a Minor Act would apply to the situation and the plaintiff's argument was upheld.

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