Alabama Supreme Court Rules Embryo are Children

The Alabama Supreme Court ruled last week that frozen embryos are legally “children” and deserve the same rights as other “unborn children.”

The case, which originated in 2021, began when a patient at The Center for Reproductive Medicine in Mobile, Alabama, dropped several containers of frozen embryos.

Three couples whose embryos were destroyed sued the Center, but a court judge dismissed the case as the embryos were not covered under Alabama’s “Wrongful Death of a Minor Act.”

The court ruled at the time that the embryos did not meet the definitions of a “person,” however the decision last week overturned the lower court and allowed the parents to proceed with a wrongful death lawsuit.

“When the People of Alabama adopted (the ‘sanctity of life’ provision of the state constitution), they did not use the term ‘inviolability,’ with its secular connotations, but rather they chose the term ‘sanctity,’ with all of its connotations. The Alabama Constitution’s recognition that human life is an endowment from God emphasizes a foundational principle of English common law, which has been expressly incorporated as part of the law of Alabama,” Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Parker wrote.

“No court — anywhere in the country — has reached the conclusion the main opinion reaches. And the main opinion’s holding almost certainly ends the creation of frozen embryos through in vitro fertilization (“IVF”) in Alabama,” Justice Greg Cook said.