Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Political/War Lounge > Alabama Rules Embryo=Child

Alabama Rules Embryo=Child
Thread Tools
Thorzdad
Moderator
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Nobletucky
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 21, 2024, 06:43 AM
 
In a case involving an IVF clinic, the Alabama supreme court has ruled that frozen embryos are children, entitled to full personhood rights, and that anyone destroying them would be liable in a wrongful death case.

The ruling came in a court case in which two couples sued after their frozen embryos stored in liquid nitrogen were accidentally destroyed. They filed wrongful-death lawsuits against the IVF clinic under the state's Wrongful Death of a Minor Act.

From the ruling...
In summary, the theologically based view of the sanctity of life adopted by the People of Alabama encompasses the following: (1) God made every person in His image; (2) each person therefore has a value that far exceeds the ability of human beings to calculate; and (3) human life cannot be wrongfully destroyed without incurring the wrath of a holy God, who views the destruction of His image as an affront to Himself...Even before birth, all human beings bear the image of God, and their lives cannot be destroyed without effacing his glory.
If you’ve ever been involved in IVF, you can very easily imagine the potential liability the ruling places on IVF clinics and/or the women/couples who own the resulting embryos. It’s expected that the ruling is likely to halt nearly all IVF work in Alabama. Additionally, it is feared that the ruling will be used as the basis for laws targeting miscarriages and chemical contraception.
( Last edited by Thorzdad; Feb 21, 2024 at 08:02 AM. )
     
Laminar
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Iowa, how long can this be? Does it really ruin the left column spacing?
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 21, 2024, 08:25 AM
 
Okay, so they're providing free food and top-tier health care for all kids in Alabama? Letting a child go hungry, get sick, or die is an affront to a Holy God.
     
subego
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Online
Reply With Quote
Feb 21, 2024, 09:59 AM
 
human life cannot be wrongfully destroyed without incurring the wrath of a holy God, who views the destruction of His image as an affront to Himself
     
Laminar
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Iowa, how long can this be? Does it really ruin the left column spacing?
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 21, 2024, 11:26 AM
 
Also obviously free prenatal care for mothers and all childbirth expenses are covered.
     
reader50
Administrator
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: California
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 21, 2024, 01:49 PM
 
So I'm assuming the embryos have the right to vote? Assuming they're on ice for at least 18 years?
     
Thorzdad  (op)
Moderator
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Nobletucky
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 21, 2024, 02:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
So I'm assuming the embryos have the right to vote? Assuming they're on ice for at least 18 years?
I was listening to a discussion about this on NPR today, and the possible ramifications are kind of mind-boggling.

Do the embryos count toward Alabama’s population count, which could affect various federal fundings, as well as Congressional redistricting.

If the owners of the embryos move out of state, which state’s laws apply? The one where the owners now live, or Alabama’s, where the embryos reside?

Will the owners be able to claim a child tax credit for each embryo?

Will the owners and/or the clinic be required to implant any unused embryos (since now they cannot destroy them?) And if those implantations fail and result in miscarriage, will the clinic (or the mother) be held culpable?
     
reader50
Administrator
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: California
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 21, 2024, 04:11 PM
 
To my knowledge, all 50 states require children to attend school until they turn 18. Assuming a classroom has a good fridge, will setting the test tube in the freezer meet the school requirement to attend that class? Must all schoolrooms contain freezers from now on? Who pays for the freezers? Is it even legal to freeze a child?

Most (all?) states also have child-vaccination requirements for school admission, with some exemptions. Many schools have uniforms rules. Which can vary by sex of the child. So 1/2 of the embryos may need to wear skirts, the other half ties. I believe all 50 states have PE requirements, for maintaining child fitness.
     
subego
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Online
Reply With Quote
Feb 21, 2024, 05:34 PM
 
(1) God made every person in His image; (2) each person therefore has a value that far exceeds the ability of human beings to calculate
Ignoring the legal part for a moment, is (1) therefore (2) part of some respected exegesis? To my layman eyes it looks like DIY literalist fringe shit.
     
Thorzdad  (op)
Moderator
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Nobletucky
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 22, 2024, 06:28 AM
 
     
Laminar
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Iowa, how long can this be? Does it really ruin the left column spacing?
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 22, 2024, 09:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Ignoring the legal part for a moment, is (1) therefore (2) part of some respected exegesis? To my layman eyes it looks like DIY literalist fringe shit.
As with every time we engage with the Bible, it's worth acknowledging that we're engaging with an English translation. It was translated by people living in a completely different time, era, and context than it was written, and there's no way to divorce the thousands of years of culture and mythology that happened between the original writing and the translation. That being said, for (1)...

From Genesis 1:26-28:
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
That's the first mention of people being made "in God's image." It's vaguely referenced a few other places but it's already problematic that the primary reference is in the creation story, as many Christians don't realize Genesis is a mythology intended to paint of a picture of how life should be, instead they believe it's a history book that contains a record of historical events. If they don't get the base level purpose of the story, how can we trust their interpretation of any part of it going forward?

So (2) doesn't follow (1) in the scripture. It's not fringe bullshit to believe every human life is valuable beyond comprehension, but even the tiniest glance at the people making that claim will tell you they don't believe it.
     
OreoCookie
Moderator
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Hilbert space
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 22, 2024, 04:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
To my knowledge, all 50 states require children to attend school until they turn 18. Assuming a classroom has a good fridge, will setting the test tube in the freezer meet the school requirement to attend that class? Must all schoolrooms contain freezers from now on? Who pays for the freezers? Is it even legal to freeze a child?

Most (all?) states also have child-vaccination requirements for school admission, with some exemptions. Many schools have uniforms rules. Which can vary by sex of the child. So 1/2 of the embryos may need to wear skirts, the other half ties. I believe all 50 states have PE requirements, for maintaining child fitness.
I laughed out loud until I realized that it is serious.
I doubt this will make the Dobbs decision any more popular, especially as people who pointed to IVF and contraception being next as fear mongers. I reckon that in hindsight, the GOP wishes that their dog hadn't caught the car after all.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
Thorzdad  (op)
Moderator
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Nobletucky
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 22, 2024, 06:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I reckon that in hindsight, the GOP wishes that their dog hadn't caught the car after all.
My fear is that this is only going to convince them to go hard and fast to get everything they want before the electorate really, truly wakes up. Assuming they wake up, of course. Way too many americans sincerely believe they can't change anything, so why even try?
     
reader50
Administrator
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: California
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 22, 2024, 08:01 PM
 
It is illegal to leave a child locked in a car - mostly due to the overheating danger.

So in Alabama, if an embryo is transported by a car/truck/etc and they stop for gas/meal/whatever, they *must* leave a door unlocked. In practice, someone will have to sit in the car, to prevent vehicle theft.

I'm wondering if all children are required to have SSNs issued to them in Alabama. Seems like a name would be required too, by the Social Security Administration. Unless they're willing to issue a SSN without a name.

What will they put down for the birthdate? The field would have to accept text if you want to say "pending/provisional/indeterminate". Putting in all zeros would qualify the embryo for Social Security benefits, as the child would be a couple thousand years old. The birth weight is another tricky field, along with eye color.
     
OreoCookie
Moderator
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Hilbert space
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 24, 2024, 07:15 AM
 
It seems Alabama lawmakers have realized the quagmire they are in and are moving to protecting/exempting IVF treatment. That's a positive development, at the very least they have gotten the message that this crosses a line with many pro lifers, too. (IVF is all about “creating life”, so I think their calculus is different from “abortion”.)

I hope that cautions other states to propose e. g. bans or unnecessary regulations on contraceptives.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
Thorzdad  (op)
Moderator
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Nobletucky
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 24, 2024, 08:15 AM
 
We shall see. I have a hard time believing the Alabama legislature will create a clean carve-out for IVF that allows destroying unneeded/unwanted embryos. The conservative evangelicals are just too influential to let that happen.

There’s a growing embryo adoption industry, and I can see something like that coming into play as a part of whatever “fix” the legislature crafts. Perhaps requiring clinics to adopt-out unneeded embryos. It’ll be a whole other quagmire, of course.
     
subego
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Online
Reply With Quote
Feb 24, 2024, 09:07 PM
 
I read a bunch of the decision. The “image of God” stuff is judicial performance art. It’s not going to be relevant to whether the SCOTUS lets this stand.

I’d say they do. It’s pretty straightforward. Embryos have wrongful death protection in Alabama. Since they do, the only question in this case is whether embryos derive their legal protection based on their location (i.e., intra- or extrauterine), or is there some other quality embryos possess the law aims to protect.

The Alabama Supreme Court says it’s the latter, and I’d tend to say that’s self-evident.
     
Thorzdad  (op)
Moderator
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Nobletucky
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 24, 2024, 09:46 PM
 
Can this even go before SCOTUS?
     
subego
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Online
Reply With Quote
Feb 24, 2024, 10:10 PM
 
Letter of the law: yes.

Spirit of the law: if there’s something unconstitutional about it.
     
reader50
Administrator
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: California
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 25, 2024, 02:55 AM
 
It can be appealed to SCOTUS by the losing party. I haven't read the judgement - if the winning party had anything denied, then technically both parties lost something. In which case, either side can appeal the case to SCOTUS.
     
christ
Professional Poster
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Gosport
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 25, 2024, 01:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
It seems Alabama lawmakers have realized the quagmire they are in and are moving to protecting/exempting IVF treatment. That's a positive development, at the very least they have gotten the message that this crosses a line with many pro lifers, too. (IVF is all about “creating life”, so I think their calculus is different from “abortion”.)

I hope that cautions other states to propose e. g. bans or unnecessary regulations on contraceptives.
Foetuses are either people or they aren't. This is not rocket science, people.

"We want to make it easier for mothers and fathers to have babies, not harder! That includes supporting the availability of fertility treatments like IVF in every State in America," the former president wrote on his Truth Social platform.
"[Like] the VAST MAJORITY of Republicans, Conservatives, Christians, and Pro-Life Americans, I strongly support the availability of IVF for couples who are trying to have a precious baby," he added.
How does this work? An exemption would be tantamount to stating that a foetus that you want isn't yet a person, but one that you don't want is.
Chris. T.

"... in 6 months if WMD are found, I hope all clear-thinking people who opposed the war will say "You're right, we were wrong -- good job". Similarly, if after 6 months no WMD are found, people who supported the war should say the same thing -- and move to impeach Mr. Bush." - moki, 04/16/03
     
Thorzdad  (op)
Moderator
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Nobletucky
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 25, 2024, 05:08 PM
 
Fetus ≠ embryo.

We’re talking about a minuscule blot of undifferentiated cells. Fetal development does not begin until roughly nine weeks into the pregnancy.
     
subego
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Online
Reply With Quote
Feb 25, 2024, 05:42 PM
 
Does there need to be an exception? There’s no way a contract can be written which indemnifies the clinics from specific civil litigation unless they actually do something wrong?

An example of something wrong would be this case, where the embryos were destroyed because the clinic let some rando in.
     
andi*pandi
Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: inside 128, north of 90
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 25, 2024, 05:51 PM
 
How do you carry that intent (prosecute rando who vandalizes clinics) into other issues w embryos? The normal process for IVF creates more embryos than needed because usually not all will survive. Sometimes parents save them for a future pregnancy. If they change their mind later and destroy those embryos is that murder?

wanted = person vs unwanted = not person can be perspective from a womans POV and scientific by amount of development to viability...

But what is scary is by govt granting personhood status to a blot, they are giving it more rights than the woman carrying it.
     
reader50
Administrator
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: California
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 25, 2024, 06:25 PM
 
Do these "child" embryos have a right to be born? If so, what if the man/woman sources don't want to get pregnant again (or cannot)? Will the state force a pregnancy, or pay for a surrogate? Or must the embryos be kept frozen in perpetuity, for decades or centuries? Who pays? What is the disposal method, other than pregnancy?

When a ruling causes all kinds of problems elsewhere in the law, it's a strong indication the original ruling is wrong.
     
subego
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Online
Reply With Quote
Feb 25, 2024, 08:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
is that murder?
There’s no small distinction between wrongful death, which is a civil penalty, and murder, which is a criminal one.
     
subego
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Online
Reply With Quote
Feb 25, 2024, 08:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Do these "child" embryos have a right to be born? If so, what if the man/woman sources don't want to get pregnant again (or cannot)? Will the state force a pregnancy, or pay for a surrogate? Or must the embryos be kept frozen in perpetuity, for decades or centuries? Who pays? What is the disposal method, other than pregnancy?

When a ruling causes all kinds of problems elsewhere in the law, it's a strong indication the original ruling is wrong.
Why is the problem with the ruling and not the law?

The embryos do not have a right to be born AFAIK.

If the parents agree to disposal, the disposal method is irrelevant.

If the parents don’t want to get pregnant but continue to pay the clinic, the clinic keeps them on ice. The contract will presumably stipulate failure to pay is explicit agreement by the parents to dispose.
( Last edited by subego; Feb 25, 2024 at 09:14 PM. )
     
subego
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Online
Reply With Quote
Feb 25, 2024, 09:31 PM
 
To perhaps help clarify where I’m coming from, allow me to reiterate the decision as I understand it.

By Alabama law, if the death of an embryo occurs due to a wrongful act, omission, or negligence, the parents have six months to make a claim for damages.

All this ruling did is determine that in regards to this law, the location of the embryo is irrelevant. Nothing else has changed.
     
Thorzdad  (op)
Moderator
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Nobletucky
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 25, 2024, 10:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
By Alabama law, if the death of an embryo occurs due to a wrongful act, omission, or negligence, the parents have six months to make a claim for damages.

All this ruling did is determine that in regards to this law, the location of the embryo is irrelevant. Nothing else has changed.
Does the law cited in the lawsuit mention embryos? I was under the understanding that the law refers generically only to “children,” and it was the plaintiffs who made the argument that embryos were legally children. The lower courts ruled against that interpretation but the high court bought the argument.
     
subego
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Online
Reply With Quote
Feb 26, 2024, 12:04 AM
 
As I understand it…

The Wrongful Death of a Minor Act doesn’t mention embryos. Its language is “child” and “minor child”.

The Alabama Supreme Court made two decisions (one in 2011 and one in 2012), ruling the Act applies to intrauterine embryos.

Neither party involved with the case opted to challenge these decisions, so the Court did not reconsider them at this juncture, preferring to limit the decision to matters where there was contention.

That matter was, as I said, whether the law which (both parties agree) applies to intrauterine embryos also applies to extrauterine embryos.
     
christ
Professional Poster
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Gosport
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 26, 2024, 05:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
Fetus ≠ embryo.

We’re talking about a minuscule blot of undifferentiated cells. Fetal development does not begin until roughly nine weeks into the pregnancy.
The "life begins conception" crowd (aka 'Republicans') don't make any distinction - they are all children.
Chris. T.

"... in 6 months if WMD are found, I hope all clear-thinking people who opposed the war will say "You're right, we were wrong -- good job". Similarly, if after 6 months no WMD are found, people who supported the war should say the same thing -- and move to impeach Mr. Bush." - moki, 04/16/03
     
OreoCookie
Moderator
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Hilbert space
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 29, 2024, 02:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by christ View Post
The "life begins conception" crowd (aka 'Republicans') don't make any distinction - they are all children.
Even among pro lifers, people who want to forbid IVF are a small minority. (On a recent episode of The Editors, the flagship podcast of National Review, they gave some numbers and if you are against IVF for those reasons, you have strong, strong headwinds even within the party.)

One of the hosts brought up “but only about 1 % of people will ever attempt IVF.” In a country of 300+ million, that's north of 3 million people, hardly a fringe concern. All these “rare exceptions” such as women suffering from not being able to get an abortion for good medical reasons are plentiful, and I would say most know someone who has been affected, if not directly, then through one degree of separation. My sister almost had to make a very hard decision between keeping her (very, very much wanted) baby and a severe life-long disability (potentially permanent paralyzation and severe pain), because the fetus “would not have been compatible with the anesthesia”.

The verdict is a natural consequence of what happens when people with crude, black-and-white thinking and no medical expertise apply simplistic ideas to complicated situations.

PS Just to add in case anyone is wondering: if all things go well, my sister will be a mother next Monday. Her pregnancy was not easy to put it mildly. I'm in awe of what women are willing to go through to have children.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
christ
Professional Poster
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Gosport
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 29, 2024, 04:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Even among pro lifers, people who want to forbid IVF are a small minority.
...
The verdict is a natural consequence of what happens when people with crude, black-and-white thinking and no medical expertise apply simplistic ideas to complicated situations.
Exactly - not an easy circle to square. I don't think I am exaggerating when I say that the pro-life position is: Post fertilisation, you have a child on your hands (or in your test tube), but when the law allows IVF it inherently also allows the disposal of unused post-conception agglomerations of cells ("children"). As I noted: you want it, it isn't a child; you don't want it, it is. Madness.

The law has to reduce everything to "Guilty" or "Not Guilty". Grey should always be legal, so there is room to manoeuvre.
Chris. T.

"... in 6 months if WMD are found, I hope all clear-thinking people who opposed the war will say "You're right, we were wrong -- good job". Similarly, if after 6 months no WMD are found, people who supported the war should say the same thing -- and move to impeach Mr. Bush." - moki, 04/16/03
     
   
Thread Tools
 
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:58 PM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,