Home » Alabama hospital pauses IVF treatments after ruling that embryos are boys

Alabama hospital pauses IVF treatments after ruling that embryos are boys

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Alabama hospital pauses IVF treatments after ruling that embryos are boys

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama hospital has suspended in vitro fertilization treatments as health care providers weigh the impact of a state Supreme Court ruling that says frozen embryos can considered children under state law.

The University of Alabama Birmingham campus reported in a statement issued Wednesday that its Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility has suspended treatments “while it evaluates the Alabama Supreme Court’s decision that a cryopreserved embryo is a human being.”

“We are saddened that this will have an impact on our patients’ attempts to have a baby through IVF, but we have to evaluate the possibility that our patients and our doctors could be criminally prosecuted or penalized with compensation for damage for following the procedure. standard of care for IVF treatments,” said the statement mailed by spokesperson Savannah Koplon.

Other fertility treatment providers in the state continued their in vitro fertilizations as attorneys explored the impact of the ruling.

The ruling by the all-Republican Alabama Supreme Court sparked a new wave of concerns about the future of IVF treatments in the state and the potential unintended consequences of extreme anti-abortion laws in Republican-led states. Patients called clinics to find out if scheduled IVF treatments would continue. And the suppliers consulted with lawyers.

The justices — citing a provision in the Alabama Constitution that the state recognizes the “rights of unborn children” — said three couples could sue for wrongful death after their frozen embryos were destroyed in an accident at a school. fertility clinic.

“Unborn children are ‘children’ … without exceptions based on developmental stage, physical location, or any other complementary characteristics,” Justice Jay Mitchell wrote in the court’s majority ruling issued Friday.

Mitchell said the court had previously ruled that fetuses that die when a woman is pregnant are covered by Alabama’s Childhood Manslaughter Act, and nothing excludes “extrauterine children from the coverage of such law.”

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The ruling sparked an avalanche of warnings about the possible repercussions on fertility treatments and the freezing of embryos, which until now were considered property by the courts.

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