The Alabama IVF Clinic controversy is a case of being all up in Alabama’s Kool-Aid without even knowing the flavor.

In the two weeks since the Alabama Supreme Court decision in LePage v. Mobile Infirmary Clinic, we have been subjected to stupid political cartoons, Democrat and Republican outrage, and demands that Alabama “fix it” so that IVF clinics can continue operating in the state.

No one is stopping IVF clinics from operating, but they want us to think otherwise.

Ably summarizing the decision for 1819 News, Caleb Taylor explained that under the Alabama Constitution and the Wrongful Death of a Minor Act, embryos produced by IVF providers were deemed living beings, meaning the LePage and Fonde families who brought the suit had every right to sue the IVF clinics for the negligence which destroyed their embryos.

Politicians and legacy media have reduced the decision to a slogan: “Alabama bans IVF.” This is patently dishonest.

The University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB), hospital systems and other IVF providers chose to cease services in order to protect themselves against potential lawsuits. They are essentially taking their toys and going home because the ruling forces clinics to assess their practices. Thus, clinics must either revise paperwork, factoring in language about patient’s rights, responsibilities, and potential litigation should clinics fail couples, or they must raise prices for couples to cover litigation costs.

That this decision generated national interest shows there’s a bigger agenda afoot. A Thursday press release from the Washington, D.C.-based American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) proves this further.

ASRM advocates for abortion on demand. Following the June 2022 U.S. Supreme Court Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health decision, ASRM published this policy missive:

[M]any of the proposals to ban or otherwise limit access to abortion care fail to protect the use of assisted reproductive technologies, including IVF, and so-called ‘personhood’ measures (defining life as beginning at conception or fertilization) are multiplying across the nation, causing alarm bells to sound for medical practitioners and infertility patients alike. [Emphasis added.]

ASRM didn’t like that the Dobbs decision might prevent clinics’ wanton removal and disposal of human embryos, so they readied themselves to undermine any state action that could, claiming that “members of the profession” were testifying in order to “inform state policies and demonstrate the vital importance of equitable access to abortion care.” [Emphasis added.]

ASRM does not care about IVF patients or doctors; they care about abortion. Alabama is one state that has codified “no abortions, no exceptions,” and ASRM sees this as a major obstacle.

Last Thursday ASRM wrote:

Since the Alabama Supreme Court released its misinformed decision, we have seen democracy in action. Patients, physicians, and people in Alabama are justifiably outraged that eight justices of the state Supreme Court have effectively halted access to critical health care, preventing the people of Alabama who need medical assistance to build their families from doing so. We are proud of our Alabama members and their patients, who have been such incredible advocates working to motivate their legislators to protect IVF. [Emphasis added.]

In essence, ASRM is using the decision as a foil to do the bidding of its donors, and is thus encouraging Alabama lawmakers and their paid activists to circumvent the Alabama Constitution.

The press release continues:

We are pleased that the members of the Alabama General Assembly have responded to that advocacy and have repeatedly stated their interest in providing a legislative solution. However, the legislation we’ve seen this week as a proposed solution – even as most recently revised – is inadequate insofar as it fails to correct the Supreme Court’s nonsensical stance that fertilized eggs are scientifically and legally equivalent to children. Therefore, we believe these bills will not provide the assurances Alabama’s fertility physicians need to be confident they can continue to provide the best standard of care to their patients without putting themselves, their colleagues, and their patients at legal risk. [Emphasis added.]

Bottom line: IVF providers don’t want to be held accountable. Embryos are not their patients, and defining them as a person only complicates their ability to continue to give little attention to what happens to their petri dish creations after the fact.

The “National Catholic Register” makes a compelling argument on this, pointing to 11 states that have laws against harming human embryos, even those outside the womb. Thus, the Alabama Supreme Court decision has allowed nothing radical.

“The most comprehensive such law is in Louisiana, where the newly conceived IVF embryo has the status of a 'juridical person' with a right to due care on the part of the fertility clinic,” “The Register” says. “All these laws have been legally valid while Roe was in effect and remain so since Roe was overturned.”

“The Register” also affirms that this Alabama ruling does nothing to ban IVF. But it does prohibit the cavalier attitude toward life, while giving parents redress should IVF lead to negligence, which is clear in LePage v. Mobile Infirmary Clinic.

ASRM wants to make this case about abortion. The manufactured “banning IVF” outrage is a Trojan Horse:

Make no mistake: Alabama's recent legislative response has far-reaching consequences for all Americans' access to reproductive healthcare. As states look to one another for guidance, Alabama's lawmakers must courageously lead and identify a solution to ensure everyone has access to standard-of-care medicine and that the law is clear: embryos are not children, and essential health care should not be criminalized. [Emphasis added.]

IVF is not “standard-of-care medicine.” It is an expensive, lengthy, and risky process for the wealthy and well-heeled. In some religious denominations, IVF is sacrilege, as “The Register” explains:

Serious moral objections to IVF have been legitimately raised by the Catholic Church and some non-Catholics. The Church teaches that IVF divorces procreation from the unitive love between the parents, turning it into a laboratory “manufacture” that allows others to manipulate and even discard the child as a product rather than a gift of God. But the immediate objection to all the politicians’ statements is that they have nothing to do with the facts in this case.

Furthermore, the facts of the case address the shady ethics employed by IVF providers, particularly in their efforts to dodge liability:

The accusation of a ban seems to be coming from IVF practitioners who want to be exempt from claims of negligence that all other health professionals must concern themselves with. And some politicians and activists want to dismiss all respect for unborn children even in non-abortion contexts, as such respect highlights the denial of reality needed to accept abortion as ‘health care.’

Conflating terms and eroding language is all that is necessary to create a challenge to pro-life precedents. ASRM’s dubious press release is gaslighting, and Alabama’s honest, ethical practitioners must call out this deception. IVF clinics must change their so-called “standard of care” to incorporate responsibility to care for embryos, and accountability and redress for the parents should they fail.

Jennifer Oliver O'Connell, As the Girl Turns, is an investigative journalist, author, opinion analyst, and contributor to 1819 News, Redstate, and other publications. Jennifer writes on Politics and Pop Culture, with occasional detours into Reinvention, Yoga, and Food. You can read more about Jennifer's world at her As the Girl Turns website. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Telegram.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to

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