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  • Everyone with Feelings About the Alabama Supreme Court Ruling Needs to Hear This

I’m getting personal today! I want to talk about the Alabama Supreme Court ruling where they said that frozen embryos are considered children under state law.  

The Alabama Supreme Court Ruling

So what exactly happened? Three families brought a wrongful death case against a fertility clinic where their frozen embryos were accidently destroyed.  The lower courts ruled that they couldn’t file suit under the wrongful death of a minor act because embryos are not children.  The case was appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court where they ruled in favor of the couples saying that “unborn children are ‘children’…without exception based on developmental stage, physical location, or any other ancillary characteristics”.  This ruling has sparked intense emotions within the infertility community, prompting a reflection on reproductive freedom, IVF, and women’s rights.

Personal Connection

First and foremost, I am an infertility patient, having gone through 7 rounds of infertility treatment before finally having my girls.  I am also a fertility coach, who works with clients all the time struggling to build their families.  

I understand the precious nature of embryos created through the arduous process of IVF. In my own journey, three rounds of IVF yielded no embryos for freezing. The devastation of losing something you worked tirelessly to create is profound. I cannot imagine the devisation these families who lost these precious embryos are going through.  And, I also understand the desire to hold someone accountable for the loss.  However, I don’t agree with the decision by the Supreme Court or calling embryos children.  

Faith and Biased Decisions

While I respect the diversity of beliefs, the Alabama Supreme Court’s decision appears to be heavily influenced by Christian theology. As a Christian myself, I emphasize the importance of respecting individual beliefs and not imposing them on others. This ruling, seemingly grounded in personal beliefs rather than legal perspectives, raises concerns about bias and the misuse of power.

We all get to believe what we want to believe.  What I don’t think is okay is imposing your beliefs on other people and forcing them to live in a way that you think is right.  

Reproductive Freedom Is On The Line

The decision has ignited frustration and anger, particularly in a country that prides itself on being the land of the free. It reflects an ongoing struggle for women and families to make their own decisions about their bodies and lives. The dichotomy of restricting choices through abortion laws while also limiting options for those seeking to build a family is a glaring issue.  I am so tired of hearing from pro-life advocates that, if I am pregnant and don’t want to be (for whatever reason – can’t support the child, my life is at risk due to a non-viable pregnancy, etc) that I don’t get that choice.  AND, if I want to have children but don’t have the ability to conceive on my own I also, now, don’t have access to the resources and support I need to have a child.  

In a recent Instagram post, Resolve New England put it perfectly…

“No one cares more about embryos than fertility patients. No one understands more than fertility patients that embryos are not children.” 

Embryos, without a human uterus, remain cells and not children.  You cannot create a person without a uterus so the fact that embryos, in a freezer, have the same rights as children is outrageous. The lack of understanding and empathy in the broader conversation around reproductive freedom is concerning.

Taking Action for Reproductive Freedom

If, like me, you are finding yourself angry and want to do something about this, good news! There are actionable steps you can take:

1. Join Resolve Federal Advocacy Day on May 14, 2024.  Engage with lawmakers and advocate for the importance of addressing reproductive freedom at the federal level.

2. Check to see what is happening in your state.  Research reproductive freedom bills and legislation in your state. Support and advocate for bills like the Minnesota Building Families Act (in Minnesota), which seeks insurance coverage for infertility and fertility preservation.

3. Engage with local lawmakers.  Email your lawmakers and ask them to support IVF and reproductive freedoms.  Don’t be afraid to express your personal concerns to them as well. 

4. Participate in Elections.  Elections are coming up in November in the United States and this is our chance to elect leaders who are educated, who will support reproductive freedom and who will fight for what matters to us.  Your vote counts so make sure you are registered and voting! 

5. Share your story.  Speak up and share your personal story with friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers. Personal narratives have the power to change perspectives and minds.

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