IVF Issues with Eric Johnston

On Tuesday, June 11th, ALCAP President Greg Davis spoke with Attorney Eric Johnston of the Southeast Law Institute on Priority Talk Radio concerning in-vitro fertilization (IVF) in Alabama. They recapped the events* that led to our current situation with IVF, before Eric arrived at the vital question of the entire issue:

“The ultimate question we have to deal with here is––assuming IVF is not going to go away and assuming that we see it as life––what do you do with those frozen embryos?”

Greg Davis and Eric Johnston agreed that the IVF industry must be regulated, and they discussed Pro-Life strategies being implemented to obtain results in this issue. Eric also warned Pro-Life advocates to be careful, lest certain strategies backfire and our state’s abortion ban itself (the most important Pro-Life law in Alabama) be jeopardized.

To listen to their entire conversation, click here.

*The following is a quick summary of what occurred earlier this year:

A Mobile case (LePage v. Mobile Infirmary Clinic, Inc.) went to the Alabama Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that an embryo created through in-vitro fertilization (IVF) is a human person protected by Alabama’s wrongful death act and the Alabama Constitution. This affirmed the biblical and scientific stance that life in the womb is human, no matter the stage of development. The ruling came with certain practical complications. For example, what did this mean for the future of IVF in Alabama? What about the many embryos that have already been created and are currently in storage?

In response to the Alabama Supreme Court ruling, two identical bills (HB237 and SB159) were filed in the 2024 Alabama Legislative Session––one in the House, one in the Senate, respectively––that granted immunity to IVF clinics in their handling of embryos, except for situations that arise of embryos being mishandled outside of IVF services. Both bills passed and Gov. Ivey signed the Senate version of the bill. This bill––now law––allowed IVF clinics to resume their services with civil and criminal immunity in their treatment of embryos. Pro-Life advocates argued, to no avail, that now is the time to create legislation that regulates this industry and protects embryos from being discarded or destroyed. This law does not absolutely protect human embryonic life, and instead allows IVF clinics to continue with previous practices despite the ruling of the Alabama Supreme Court.