After a Supreme Court decision | Alabama university suspends in vitro fertilization

(Washington) A university in Alabama announced on Wednesday that it would suspend all its treatments relating to in vitro fertilization (IVF) after a decision by the Supreme Court of this state in the southern United States finding that embryos preserved by freezing should be considered like “children”.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) said in a statement that it was “saddened” by the impact of this suspension on patients at its medical establishments.

“But we must evaluate the possibility that our patients and doctors could be criminally prosecuted or face punitive fines for following standards of care for IVF,” she said.

UAB’s announcement comes days after the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos are “children.”

Citing an 1872 law on wrongful deaths of minors, three couples filed a complaint against an in vitro fertilization clinic after another patient, upon entering a storage facility, accidentally destroyed their embryos.

A court initially dismissed the complaint, finding that the embryos could not be qualified as a “person” or “child”.

But on Friday, with a majority of seven judges to two, all Republicans, the Alabama Supreme Court on the contrary ruled that the law on infant deaths “applies to all unborn children, without limit”.

“This applies to all children, born or unborn,” writes Judge Jay Mitchell in the text of the decision, peppered with biblical references.

Resolve, the main American association dedicated to infertility, had already warned on Tuesday that this reasoning could have “devastating consequences” for in vitro fertilization procedures.

The White House also denounced the decision in similar terms. “Across the country, women are suffering the devastating consequences of the actions of Republican elected officials,” launched its spokesperson, Karine Jean-Pierre, on Tuesday. The Democrats have made the defense of the right to abortion one of their hobby horses for the November elections.

Nikki Haley, the only candidate still in the running to challenge Donald Trump for the Republican Party nomination, said Wednesday that she supported the Alabama court decision. “Embryos are, to me, babies,” she told NBC News. “When you talk about an embryo […], for me, it’s a life. »

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