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HHS secretary: UAB decision to pause IVF treatment will have 'heart-wrenching consequences'

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra decried the recent University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) health care system’s decision to pause in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments Wednesday.

“I’ve long made clear that overturning Roe was just the beginning of the attacks on women’s health, privacy, & autonomy — and that’s exactly what we continue to see,” Becerra said in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

“The decision in Alabama will have heart-wrenching consequences for women & their families,” Becerra continued.

The decision comes just days after a ruling from the Yellowhammer State’s Supreme Court that declared frozen embryos and fertilized eggs are children under the Alabama Wrongful Death of a Minor Act.

Alabama Supreme Court Justice Jay Mitchell wrote that the Wrongful Death of a Minor Act “applies to all unborn children, regardless of their location.”

“Even before birth, all human beings have the image of God, and their lives cannot be destroyed without effacing his glory,” Chief Justice Tom Parker wrote in a concurring opinion. “We believe that each human being, from the moment of conception, is made in the image of God, created by Him to reflect His likeness.”  

The health system is evaluating the decision by the court, according to a spokesperson.

“We are saddened that this will impact our patients’ attempt to have a baby through IVF, but we must evaluate the potential that our patients and our physicians could be prosecuted criminally or face punitive damages for following the standard of care for IVF treatments,” the health system said.  

GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley also commented on the Alabama Supreme Court decision Wednesday, saying that frozen embryos created via IVF are “babies.”

Source: The Hill

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