The Pro-life Movement Needs an Answer on IVF

Alabama’s confusion parallels a nationwide question regarding IVF.

By Madison Fossa


The Alabama House of Representatives recently passed a bill to protect IVF facilities, allowing them to continue their practices. This bill, House Bill 237, passed as a reaction to the February 14th ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court, which gave IVF embryos the status of unborn children.

In vitro fertilization is highly controversial because of its use of frozen embryos, which are either used for research, discarded, or saved for when parents may or may not want them. Many argue this is unethical because the embryos are alive, and therefore must be protected. These sentiments, upheld in Alabama less than a month ago, are now challenged by House Bill 237, which is causing confusion for citizens not just in Alabama, but nationwide.


What’s Going On?

The pressing issue after this bill is voter confusion, expressed on all sides of the IVF debate. Before the bill was even passed (directly after the Supreme Court ruling), protesters lined the streets in Alabama demanding that this ‘injustice’ be corrected. The thought of not having IVF treatments scared many in the state on both a personal and political level. IVF clinics were halting their services in fear of legal issues that could come with the decision.

After Bill 237 was passed, more questions were raised. The bill states that “no action, suit, or criminal prosecution for the damage to or death of an embryo shall be brought or maintained against any individual or entity when providing or receiving goods or services related to in vitro fertilization.” Many believe that this undermines the heart behind the ruling of the Supreme Court. It provides a not-so-subtle loophole for IVF facilities to misuse embryos. Some refer to the bill as a “Band-Aid solution”. The hurry to reopen the IVF clinics is suspicious to pro-life voters. Even members of the state House and Senate are sensing the rushed nature of the bill. Everyone wants a better solution to the large ethical problems at hand.


A Divided Movement

At first glance, I was extremely disheartened by the bill’s passing. Be it legitimate discord or a lack of clarity, House Bill 237 and the Supreme Court ruling seem to be at odds with one another. The triumph for life in Alabama has been negated by a bill pushed mostly by Republican politicians. If the IVF facilities continue their practices without any changes, the Supreme Court ruling was nothing more than a warm sentiment towards the pro-life cause.

However, Alabama State Representative Jim Hill makes an excellent point. “To not allow people who want to bring children who want to into this world is a bad mistake.” The problem remains: Alabama needs to be more specific about its intentions toward IVF embryos.


Moving Forward

The state of Alabama must choose a side on this issue. The best solution is for IVF facilities to only create embryos that will be used in the pursuit of life. Babies are born and raised in a family instead of used for research or discarded. This solution would require diligence from lawmakers to carefully determine which methods of IVF can legally happen while upholding the status of embryos as dictated by the Alabama Supreme Court.

In the long run, however, the extra work it would take to make this permanent solution would increase life in more than one way. More babies would be protected from unnecessary death, and more parents would be able to bring life into the world. This issue is one of life and death, and must be treated as such. We must take swift action to answer voters’ questions and protect the unborn.


About the Author

Madison Fossa is a freshman at Grove City College, from New Jersey. She is a Trustee Scholar majoring in Biology and minoring in Technical Writing. On campus, Madison is a member of GCC Singers and is involved in Young Women for America.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed are those of the writer alone. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grove City College, the Institute for Faith and Freedom, or its affiliates.