Alabama Supreme Court Cites Bible in Alarming Decision

( – A bible verse quoted by the Alabama Supreme Court has some up in arms over a recent decision that could effectively end in vitro fertilization (IVF) in the state. The Alabama Supreme Court ruled on Friday, February 16th that fertilized embryos qualify for protected status under the state’s Wrongful Death of a Minor Act, ruling their destruction sufficient cause for a civil lawsuit.

In LePage v Mobile Infirmary Clinic, Inc., lawyers for would-be parents argued that the destruction of “embryonic children” should be considered a “wrongful death.” The case stems from the destruction of embryos that followed a break-in at the IVF clinic. During the incident, trays containing embryos were knocked over, destroying them.

The state court ruled 8-1 that the clinic was negligent, allowing the case to proceed on the merits. In its ruling, the justices said that Alabama recognizes and supports “the sanctity of unborn life,” calling embryos “unborn children.”

The court referenced the Sanctity of Life Amendment which was ratified in 2018. They also cited the Wrongful Death of a Minor Act suggesting the text of the law “is sweeping and unqualified.” They added that their role as judges is to interpret existing law without adding new qualifications or limitations, despite their beliefs about policy. Referencing the amendment, the written ruling indicated it directly addressed the question at hand.

The controversial inclusion of a bible quote stems from the judges referring to Jeremiah 1:5 suggesting that the laws on the books are nearly identical to the text. The text suggests that God knows all his children before they are born and sanctifies them before they are born.

The ruling could effectively end IVF in the state. The process creates more embryos than it can use, some are ultimately destroyed or used for research purposes. Additionally, many fertility companies may not want to take on the heightened liability this ruling poses.

Barb Collura, President of Resolve: The National Infertility Association, said the ruling was “anti-family,” and will bring “devastating consequences.” She additionally suggested that the ruling could make IVF illegal in the state, which is currently the standard of medical care for couples facing certain types of fertility issues.

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