Alabama Supreme Court Rules Frozen Embryos Are ‘Children’

The Alabama Supreme Court has officially ruled that frozen embryos are considered “children” in the eyes of the law.

According to the state’s highest court, the statute “applies to all unborn children, regardless of their location.”

The court determined that laws concerning the wrongful death of minors apply to frozen embryos as well because they are equally considered children under Alabama law.

A group of IVF patients sued the court, claiming that a patient accidentally destroyed their embryos in December 2020 after removing them from a cryogenic storage unit and dropping them to the ground.

The court reached this majority verdict in the case, as The Hill reported.

This is despite the current administration’s promises to reverse the recent Supreme Court decision that again left abortion rights up to states and protect the “reproductive rights” of women nationwide.

The plaintiffs went on to sue the Center for Reproductive Medicine in two separate cases, claiming that it had broken the legislation concerning the unborn child (the Wrongful Death of a Minor Act) in Alabama.

The plaintiffs also sought compensatory damages by alleging the clinic was negligent; however, they were only required to do so in the event that the Alabama Courts or the United States Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos were not children.

A trial court agreed with the defendant and dismissed the cases because it determined that a frozen embryo did not meet the criteria for being considered a “person” or “child.”

Citing long-standing legal rules in Alabama, the court also determined that the plaintiffs could not pursue their claims for compensatory damages for the loss of human life and emotional suffering.

Although it did not rule on the subject of whether or not “extrauterine children” should be considered human, the Alabama Supreme Court did rule that the state’s laws did not define the condition of an unborn child.

“The relevant statutory text is clear: the Wrongful Death of a Minor Act applies on its face to all unborn children, without limitation,” the court’s decision stated.

Contrary to the defendant’s claims, the court has determined that the statute protecting “unborn children who are not physically located ‘in utero’ — that is, inside a biological uterus — at the time they are killed” does not contain any unwritten exceptions.

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Defendants further claimed that there would be several unintended effects of treating embryos stored in the freezer as children, such as a dramatic increase in the cost of in vitro fertilization and the “onerous” task of preserving the embryos.

“While we appreciate the defendants’ concerns, these types of policy-focused arguments belong before the Legislature, not this Court,” the ruling stated.

Justice Jay Mitchell of the Alabama Supreme Court made the decision, and seven of the court’s eight justices agreed with him.

A dissenting opinion was filed by Justice Greg Cook of the Alabama Supreme Court.

In his judgment, Cook contended that the court should not “expand the reach of a statute and ‘breathe life’ into it by updating or amending it.”

He contended that the state legislature would have to make a clear change to the statute in order to account for the status of frozen embryos, as the law was drafted in 1872.

READ MORE – Democrats Demand Social Media Platforms Censor ‘Misinformation’ on Abortions

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By Nick R. Hamilton

Nick has a broad background in journalism, business, and technology. He covers news on cryptocurrency, traditional assets, and economic markets.

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