VIDEO: An Alabama Court Ruling Threatened IVF Treatment. Here’s Why It Matters in NC.

By Michael McElroy

March 24, 2024

The Alabama Supreme Court ruled last month that embryos are children and have all the protections under state law afforded to an 8-year old. That means, the justices wrote, that freezing embryos and then later discarding them, a necessary part of the process of in vitro fertilization (IVF), amounts to murder.

The ruling, which included several mentions of God and “his glory,” temporarily upended fertility treatments in the state and raised fears across the country that far-right legislators and judges in other states could use similar reasoning to cut off the only route to pregnancy for hundreds of thousands of women each year.

North Carolina Congresswoman Deborah Ross and state Attorney General Josh Stein, both Democrats, held a press conference on Thursday calling on the North Carolina’s Republican-controlled legislature to pass laws clarifying protections for the state’s IVF patients.

Several women who’d had successful births because of IVF treatment spoke as well, including Hannah Johnson, who said she and her husband were unable to conceive naturally and had to undergo several rounds of treatment before they had their baby boy, Ellis, last August.


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  • Michael McElroy

    Michael McElroy is Cardinal & Pine's political correspondent. He is an adjunct instructor at UNC-Chapel Hill's Hussman School of Journalism and Media, and a former editor at The New York Times.


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