CITIZEN: Alabama Brings Vivid Truth to the IVF Debate.

The Alabama Supreme Court’s righteous decision should cause Christians to think more deeply about IVF.

John Wehrle is a Policy Analyst for The Family Foundation.
John Wehrle is a Policy Analyst for The Family Foundation.


On February 16, 2024, the Alabama Supreme Court delivered a ruling in LePage v. Center for Reproductive Medicine that sent shockwaves throughout medical, legal, and political coalitions within both the pro-life and the pro-abortion movements.

The case was originated in 2022 by three in vitro fertilization (IVF) parents whose frozen embryos stored at a fertility clinic in Mobile were destroyed. The parents successfully sued under Alabama’s Wrongful Death of a Minor Act that allows parents to bring a civil lawsuit against anyone who caused the death of a child through negligence or a direct act.

In the decision, Justice Jay Mitchell clarified that “All parties to these cases, like all members of the Court, agree that an unborn child is a genetically unique human being whose life begins at fertilization and ends in death. Unborn children are children under the Act, without exception based on developmental stage, physical location, or any other ancillary characteristics.”

Reaction in Alabama was swift and emotional following the Court’s pro-life decision with numerous media outlets and IVF proponents claiming that the decision had “shut down IVF at the state’s largest fertility clinics.” However, the Christian legal advocacy group, Alliance Defending Freedom, correctly noted that the ruling “does not prohibit fertility treatments; it simply protects unborn children created from IVF under the Wrongful Death statute.”

Alabama’s decision will certainly kindle future legal and political battles, but for now, their highest court has delivered a legally and morally correct ruling which sheds welcome new light on the deep spiritual warfare and grave moral concerns inherent in IVF.

Kentucky’s General Assembly also reacted quickly to Alabama’s court ruling with several legislators rushing to introduce legislation essentially in favor of IVF. Just days after the decision, State Representative Daniel Grossman (D), in a chilling and misguided attempt to refute both the moral wisdom of Alabama’s Supreme Court, and settled biological science at the same time, filed HB 757 to declare that “a fertilized human egg or human embryo that exists in any form outside of the uterus of a human body shall not be considered an unborn child, a minor child, a natural person, or any other term that connotes a human being for any purpose under state law.”

While these legislative efforts did not gain much traction this session, the issue of IVF will certainly come up again in future sessions. Christians must be prepared to think deeply and biblically on the massive moral stakes surrounding IVF to help ensure God-honoring policy is promoted.

Today in the United States, IVF now destroys human life at a faster rate than even abortion. Millions of living human embryos are being destroyed in the name of family planning and/or genetic research while hundreds of thousands of frozen embryos have become orphans effectively left in cold storage.

The numbers are even more staggering considering each embryo is a priceless human life created in God’s image. Storing living human embryos for decades, resorting to “selective reduction” abortion after multiple embryo implantation, genetic screening by sex or other preferred physical characteristics, and creating a commercial market for unused or abandoned embryos, does not treat embryos with the dignity and value of God’s image-bearers.

More subtly, IVF reconfigures the essential connection between producing a new human made in God’s image through the loving, sexual connection between husband and wife in marriage as it was designed and intended by God. And even in the pursuit of the good blessing of conceiving and bearing children, IVF often falls prey to the moral deviations of genetic design and surrogate motherhood.

To help raise awareness to the numerous concerns of the IVF industry, The Family Foundation recently joined allied Christian organizations in signing onto a joint statement titled “Responding Ethically to IVF.” While recognizing that many families have chosen IVF in the face of heartbreaking challenges with their fertility, the statement appropriately concludes:

“We cannot ignore the plight of our embryonic brothers and sisters for the sake of applause from the IVF industry. Artificial reproductive technologies are fraught with broad and profound ethical concerns, and we must not sacrifice the moral high ground based on polling data, social media posts, or short-term campaign strategies. We hope all persons of goodwill can join us in upholding the dignity of human life from its very beginning, no matter where these precious human persons temporarily reside.”

Read the full “Responding Ethically to IVF” statement at

By John Wehrle – Policy Analyst for The Family Foundation. 

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