A decision by the Alabama Supreme Court has led the Southern Baptist Convention to vote on whether to ban in-vitro fertilization (IVF), according to Rev. Albert Mohler.

Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said at a pre-convention event Monday at the Danbury Institute, “The catalyst for this was the decision handed down by the Alabama Supreme Court that stated that life in the state of Alabama had to begin at fertilization.”

“We mean when the sperm and the egg meet and God says, ‘Let there be life,’” Mohler said.

In February, the court ruled 7-2 that parents of frozen embryos killed at an IVF clinic in Mobile when an intruder tampered with a freezer may proceed with a wrongful death lawsuit for alleged negligence. The court based its decision to protect the unborn on Alabama's Sanctity of Life Amendment, which states "the public policy of this state to recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, including the right to life."

In response to the ruling, Gov. Kay Ivey signed a bill into law on March 6. The bill sailed through the House and Senate in under two weeks, under the national microscope of the media. The law gives immunity protections to IVF providers in Alabama.

According to AL.com, Mohler criticized those who took exception to the Alabama Supreme Court ruling.

“Even in the state of Alabama, there was a lack of political will to stand behind what was the correct ruling and judgment by the Alabama Supreme Court,” Mohler said. “And now we have evidence nationwide of all kinds of slippage on this issue. Quite frankly, we know that in our churches we have compromised on this issue. But if we believe in the sanctity and dignity of every single human life from the moment of fertilization, we need to recognize any intervention with an embryo, any commodification of the embryo, any turn of the embryo into a consumer product, is an assault upon human dignity.”

The Southern Baptist Convention is currently meeting in Indianapolis and is expected to vote Wednesday on a resolution opposing IVF.

“And we need to understand that IVF, as it is practiced, is not only the alienation of reproduction from the conjugal setting, it is also an engineered system whereby multiple embryos are created only for most of them assuredly to be destroyed,” Mohler said. “That is as immoral as anything we could imagine if you state the proposition clearly, but a lot of evangelicals don’t want to state the proposition clearly.”

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