Statement from URGE on Alabama Supreme Court Ruling That Frozen Embryos Qualify as Children Under State Law

February 21, 2024

On Friday, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos qualify as children under state law and are subject to legislation dealing with the wrongful death of a minor. This poses serious implications for Alabamans accessing reproductive healthcare and fertility treatments, and sets a dangerous precedent for more fetal personhood laws to be introduced nationwide.

In response, Shante Wolfe, Southeastern Field Director of URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity, said:

“The Alabama Supreme Court’s decision to define ‘personhood’ from the moment of conception will have far-reaching consequences for access to reproductive healthcare, and sweeping implications for fertility treatments across the state.

“This decision will impact Alabamans’ ability to make decisions about their own bodies and futures. Personhood laws force people to continue pregnancies against their will, restrict access to contraceptives, and deny access to cancer treatments to pregnant people. While extremists claim these laws support families, ‘personhood’ laws ban in vitro fertilization (IVF), which will prevent those struggling with infertility and LGBTQ+ people from building their own families.

“As a young Alabamian, I know that we have endured many attacks on our reproductive rights, from the statewide abortion ban to attempts to prosecute those who try to leave the state for abortions. This is yet another egregious attack meant to control us, and I am heartbroken that this is happening to my home state. I am proud to join URGE on the frontlines of this fight so that all Alabamians have access to the reproductive care they deserve and justice is achieved.”