Alabama Supreme Court Rules Frozen Embryos Are 'Children'

    Alabama Supreme Court Rules Frozen Embryos Are 'Children'
    Photo: Gary Tramontina/Getty Images News via Getty Images (Aug. 22, 2003)

    The Facts

    • Frozen embryos can be classified as "children," the Alabama Supreme Court has ruled, allowing three couples to sue a fertility clinic where their frozen embryos were allegedly destroyed by accident in 2020.

    • The plaintiffs had paid to keep their embryos, created through in vitro fertilization, frozen at a medical center. However, a patient — who had entered the storage facility and removed several embryos — dropped them on the floor, leading to their death.

    The Spin

    Right narrative

    The Alabama Supreme Court has read the constitution's wrongful death statute broadly and ensured the comprehensive protection of the rights of unborn children by placing them under the state's responsibility. They have reaffirmed their belief in the sanctity of life, grounded in traditional values.

    Left narrative

    This ruling is dangerously theocratic and is now looming over millions of couples looking to become parents through in vitro fertilization. The invocation of "personhood right" to embryos prioritizes the unborn over biological parents, which is illogical. Even the process of natural reproduction often witnesses embryo loss, making this a bad-faith ruling all around.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 37% chance that Republicans will support embryo selection for intelligence more than Democrats, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Political split



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