GLAD Responds to Unprecedented Alabama Supreme Court Ruling Undermining Access to Family-building Healthcare 

Today, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) issued the following statement from Polly Crozier, GLAD’s Director of Family Advocacy, on the Alabama Supreme Court decision in LePage v. Center for Reproductive Medicine. 

“Fertility healthcare enables many Americans to have children and build a family. Bringing children into your family is about love, hope, and nurturing the next generation.  

“That’s why the Alabama Supreme Court decision in LePage v. Center for Reproductive Medicine is so sad and shocking. It seeks to prevent people from having children in a safe, effective, and common medical procedure—in vitro fertilization—that so many rely on. In an unprecedented ruling, the Alabama court concluded that a frozen embryo, created by hopeful parents with assistance from medical providers to build their family, is legally a child. This has untold, devastating, and heartbreaking consequences for people seeking to have children. The journey of infertility is stressful emotionally, physically, and financially, and this ruling threatens to snatch the opportunity of a family from many. Already, at least three clinics in Alabama halted their IVF services out of fear of running afoul of the ruling. 

This case is yet another terrible outcome of a broader effort to control not only women, but to dictate how all Americans should actualize the most intimate parts of our lives, including when and how to form a family.  

“Those who want to take us backward are working overtime to advance an extremist agenda: a complete ban on abortion, criminalization of fertility healthcare and healthcare for transgender people, reversing marriage equality, targeting LGBTQ+ parents and young people, and inserting government into our most personal and family decisions – with frightening implications for all of us. 

“We must also work overtime, collectively and with urgency to protect our common values of freedom and family autonomy. GLAD remains deeply committed to working in collaboration across movements to keep fighting for these shared values. We will continue our work to expand access to healthcare for family building—as we have done in Maine and are currently working on with partners in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, and federally—and also protect children born through assisted reproduction and surrogacy through vitally needed protections like the Massachusetts Parentage Act.”