Feb 22, 2024

Alabama Hospital Pauses IVF Treatment after Embryo Ruling Transcript

Alabama Hospital Pauses IVF Treatment after Embryo Ruling Transcript
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The University of Alabama’s hospital has paused in vitro fertilization treatment after the state’s Supreme Court ruled frozen embryos are considered people. Read the transcript here.

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Speaker 1 (00:00):

We want to begin tonight with shock waves being felt in the world of reproductive healthcare following a bombshell IVF ruling by Alabama’s Supreme Court. In Friday’s unprecedented decision, the all-Republican court ruled that frozen embryos are the legal equivalent of children. Now, Alabama’s largest hospital is pausing all in vitro fertilization treatments as healthcare providers across the state and the country evaluate what this means.

The ruling could have a devastating effect for people who desperately want to have children in a state that already has one of the nation’s strictest abortion laws. The decision may also make the already expensive cost of infertility skyrocket because of rising liability costs.

To understand the possible impact, look at these numbers from the CDC. Nearly 100,000 babies were born in the US in 2021 using IVF treatments. That’s more than 2% of all births. CBS’s Meg Oliver speaks tonight to a woman who has spent years and thousands of dollars trying to get pregnant.

Speaker 2 (01:02):

I’m angry. I’m sad. I’m just a whole slew of things.

Speaker 3 (01:06):

34-year-old Jasmine York turned to IVF to get pregnant, but now her dream of having another child has come to a sudden halt.

Is IVF your last hope to have a baby?

Speaker 2 (01:17):

Yes, there is no other way.

Speaker 3 (01:19):

This morning, York got a phone call from her fertility doctor at The University of Alabama with the news. The hospital system is pausing all IVF treatments while it takes a closer look at the state supreme court’s ruling that frozen embryos are considered people.

In a statement to CBS News, The University of Alabama says it is saddened, “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.”

Speaker 4 (01:50):

It is disturbing and ironic that the judgment in this case talks about trying to promote families and help people, and yet they are doing exactly the opposite.

Speaker 3 (02:04):

The Alabama court’s ruling could also have a chilling effect nationwide.

Speaker 4 (02:08):

How can we help our patients if we are going to be threatened with jail time or fines or crimes for just doing our best to take care of our patients?

Speaker 3 (02:21):

Like Alabama Fertility doctor, Mamie McLean.

Speaker 5 (02:24):

Ultimately, we’re worried that there’s going to be fewer babies born in Alabama because of this ruling.

Speaker 3 (02:29):

But tonight, Alabama IVF patients are left in limbo.

How scared are you for the future right now?

Speaker 2 (02:36):

I am scared, but I do have hope still that this can get turned around and things can be made right.

Speaker 3 (02:46):

Tonight, The University of Alabama told us it doesn’t know how long IVF is on hold, leaving many women wondering if they’ll be able to have a baby. Nora.

Speaker 1 (02:56):

So many people scared about this. Meg Oliver, thank you.

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