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You are here News Human Rights Alabama Supreme Court rules frozen embryos are ‘children’

Alabama Supreme Court rules frozen embryos are ‘children’

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Alabama Supreme Court

Alabama’s Supreme Court has ruled that frozen embryos are children under state law and subject to legislation dealing with the wrongful death of a minor, stating that it “applies to all unborn children, regardless of their location.”

The court issued this majority decision in a lawsuit brought forth by a group of in vitro fertilization (IVF) patients whose frozen embryos were destroyed in December 2020 when a patient removed the embryos from a cryogenic storage unit and dropped them on the ground.

The plaintiffs subsequently filed two lawsuits against the facility, the Center for Reproductive Medicine, alleging that the clinic had violated Alabama’s Wrongful Death of a Minor Act, which applies to unborn children.

The plaintiffs also alternatively alleged negligence on the part of the clinic and sought compensatory damages, though the claims of negligence were specified to only be pleaded if Alabama Courts or the U.S. Supreme Court decided frozen embryos were not children.

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