Tag Archives: fetal personhood bill

Alabama Supreme Court: Embryos are children

This is really significant, and has already sent the Left into apoplexy.

The Hill reports, Feb. 19, 2024 [red color emphasis supplied]:

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 defendant’s motion to dismiss the lawsuits were granted by a trial court that found a frozen embryo did not fall within the “definition of a ‘person’ or ‘child.’” ….

“The relevant statutory text is clear: the Wrongful Death of a Minor Act applies on its face to all unborn children, without limitation,” the court’s decision stated.

The court found that there is no unwritten exception, as the defendants have argued, to the law that applies to “unborn children who are not physically located ‘in utero’ — that is, inside a biological uterus — at the time they are killed.”

The defendants had also argued that considering frozen embryos as children would result in numerous consequences, including making IVF substantially more expensive and preserving embryos more “onerous.” ….

The ruling was issued by Alabama Supreme Court Justice Jay Mitchell, with seven of the other eight justices concurring. Alabama Supreme Court Justice Greg Cook issued a dissenting opinion.

Cook argued in his opinion that it was not within the role of the court to “expand the reach of a statute and ‘breathe life’ into it by updating or amending it.” He argued the law that was written in 1872 would not have taken into account the status of frozen embryos and to argue that the law does would require an explicit amendment from the state Legislature.

Nearly 3 weeks later, the Iowa State House passed a fetal personhood bill, H.B. 2575, which increases the penalty for the nonconsensual ending of a pregnancy, making it a felony and increasing jail time.

Opponents are taking issue because the bill changes the current language from “terminating a human pregnancy” to the “death of or serious injury to an unborn person.” They argue it is another attack on abortion since Roe v. Wade was struck down.

According to the bill, an unborn person is considered “an individual organism the species homo sapiens from fertilization to live birth.”

Under Iowa law, a class A felony is punishable by up to a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole. A person who causes the death of an unborn person “without the consent of the pregnant person” would be guilty of a class A felony.