Trump says he supports IVF after Alabama Supreme Court ruling; pro-lifers react

A process of artificial insemination of an egg in an IVF clinic stock photo.
A process of artificial insemination of an egg in an IVF clinic stock photo. | iStock/Kalinovskiy

Former President Donald Trump and other conservative leaders' response to the Alabama Supreme Court decision concerning embryos conceived via in vitro fertilization has prompted discussions among pro-lifers about the ethics of the practice, even if it does involve the creation of new life.

Earlier this month, the Alabama Supreme Court determined that frozen embryos are protected by the state's Wrongful Death of a Minor Act. The court ruled that embryos created through IVF and kept frozen are protected by state law, reversing a lower court decision.

Associate Justice Jay Mitchell concluded in the majority opinion that the act, first enacted in 1872, "applies to all children, born and unborn, without limitation." 

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The IVF process involves transferring an embryo into a woman's uterus after sperm and egg are manually combined in a laboratory dish. The ruling has prompted commentary from various political figures, including Trump and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. 

In response to the ruling, the former president and 2024 presidential hopeful Trump wrote on his Truth Social network that he "strongly support[s] the availability of IVF for couples who are trying to have a precious baby." He vowed that under his leadership, "the Republican Party will always support the creation of strong, thriving, healthy American families."

"We want to make it easier for mothers and fathers to have babies, not harder!" Trump wrote. 

During a Sunday "State of the Union" interview with CNN's Dana Bash, Gov. Abbott predicted that the Texas legislature would take up the issue, stating that Texas "is a pro-life state." The Republican governor added, "we want to ensure we promote life" and "empower parents."

"The IVF process is a way of giving life to even more babies. So, I think the goal is to make sure that we can find a pathway to ensure that parents who otherwise may not have the opportunity to have a child will be able to have access to the IVF process and become parents and give life to babies," Abbott said.

Trump and Abbott's comments in support of IVF come as some pro-life groups contend that IVF can result in the deaths of unborn children, such as when excess embryos are discarded or fail to survive being frozen and thawed.

Katy Faust, founder and president of Them Before Us, an organization that advocates for a child's right to be raised by a mother and father, acknowledged that IVF "gives life" to some babies. 

In a statement to The Christian Post, the advocate cited research that suggests only 7% of lab-created children are born alive, while others remain frozen, are donated to science or "compassionately transferred to die in the womb." 

While she agreed that the Republican Party should "support the creation of strong, thriving, healthy, American families," Faust argues that this cannot come at the expense of "the most vulnerable Americans — unborn children." 

"Our hearts go out to couples struggling with infertility and those who experience same-sex attraction who may not be able to have a child without the help of a technician," Faust told CP. "But no amount of adult struggle, loss, or longing justifies violating the rights of the child — specifically their primary right to life and right to be known and loved by both their mother and father."

"Our country's leaders, specifically those who identify as pro-life or Republican, must unequivocally stand for child protection," she continued. "Today, that means standing against the baby-taking industry of abortion and very often the baby-making industry of IVF." 

Jennifer Lahl, founder and president of the Center for Bioethics and Culture, said in a statement with CP there is a lot of "misinformation" circulating about the ruling.

She said many believe the ruling means that IVF "will be prohibited or greatly restricted," while some think that the decision "is even anti-traditional pro-family values." 

"The higher court's action was in response to the lower court's that rejected three couples' rights to file for 'wrongful death' of their frozen embryos that were inadvertently destroyed," Lahl stated. "The lower court said the 'Wrongful Death of a Minor" Law,' which protected children born and the unborn the fetus, in its mother's womb, did not extend that protection to the frozen human embryo."  

"The higher courts decision said, 'Under existing black-letter law, the answer to that question is no, the Wrongful Death of a Minor Act applies to all unborn children, regardless of their location,'" she continued.

"IVF is not illegal in Alabama with this decision," Lahl added. "If anything, IVF clinics will have to be more diligent in protecting human frozen embryos." 

Regarding the position conservative leaders should take on IVF, Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, urged conservatives to provide "bold, stead leadership on life."

In a statement to CP, Nance urged Republicans not to run from the issue. Like abortion, she believes that political opponents will use "scare tactics and false messaging" to misrepresent the party's views. 

"The policy debate on the best practices for IVF can certainly continue, but even in that debate, Alabama's respect for the sanctity of every human life as created in the image of God represents the best framework possible to engage it," Nance said. "Pro-life Republican Senate candidates should take this case as an opportunity to discuss how precious life is from the moment of conception."

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: Follow her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

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