?`s and ANNEswers

Ten minutes to write. Less time to read.


Years ago, before the infamous Wall came down, I was invited to visit Berlin. It didn’t take long to decline the invitation, as I was concerned about my safety. I had a vision of being in a café with a friend, opining about politics, being overheard by some government agent, and escorted away for questioning.

I feel the same way about Alabama.

On February 16, that state’s supreme court ruled that frozen embryos created and stored for in vitro fertilization (IVF) were children. One result of this ruling is that parents can sue for punitive damages when their child, in or out of a uterus, dies. Another result is that some of the eight clinics in Alabama that provided IVF services are pausing their programs for fear of prosecution if something goes wrong.

Personally I am not convinced that IVF is a good thing. There are moral implications, medical repercussions, and economic considerations. At the same time, I don’t believe a state government should make such a ruling, just as I don’t believe the Supreme Court of the United States should have rescinded Roe v. Wade.

A good law or a bad law, it was the law of the country that accepted various religions and peoples who had differing views about conception. It was inclusive in that regard. And if your religion forbids abortion or IVF, then why can’t you follow that without insisting others with differing opinions do the same thing? It’s scary.

One other question: If frozen embryos are children, who gets the tax deduction?

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