The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Alabama’s Ruling on IVF:
Another Attack on Women and Families

Feb 26, 2024

The Alabama Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos are children! This outrageous claim is not at all based on what ordinary people think of as children. Nor is it based on science. The frozen “embryo” is actually a zygote, what scientists call an egg fertilized by a sperm and allowed to grow for a few days. The court’s ruling is pure propaganda, pushing the belief of some Christian sects that life begins at conception. In fact, this is a continuation of the attack on women that the U.S. Supreme Court made when it overturned Roe v. Wade.

Never mind that these “cryogenic children” as the court referred to them, cannot be held or played with, don’t need to be fed or educated or taken care of in any way—the “best kind” of children. They can only be seen with a microscope. The reality is that these frozen embryos have a long and uncertain journey on the way to becoming actual children.

First, the embryo has to be implanted into the mother’s womb. There can be no talk of potential life or babies without the mother! The frozen collection of cells that make up the embryo are meaningless in test tubes. Successful implantation of the embryo is by no means certain. More often than not it fails to attach to the uterine wall. Once the woman becomes pregnant, the next problem is staying pregnant, not miscarrying. Miscarriages can happen for a variety of reasons. Things can go wrong with the embryo or the mother that can lead to miscarriage. Then, if the embryo survives all those dangers, it may get the opportunity to be born.

The infant mortality rate as well as the maternal mortality rate in Alabama is higher than the national average—and the U.S. average is higher than the rest of the developed world. Alabama is a poor state with a median household income of $54,000. If there is a successful birth there are still obstacles to overcome. What if a parent is laid off, becomes homeless, loses their health insurance? How does the actual child survive?

The point is that it takes many people and systems to make children possible. This is the main reason human societies evolved in the first place: to make child-bearing and child-rearing possible. In other words, it takes a village. A test tube is not a village and a frozen embryo is not viable.

These judges want to make these baseless claims to protect what they call “children” when they could care less about them once they are born. They don’t care about children. Their attitude is once it is born, the child is on its own. But human children are totally helpless at birth and require lots of help.

Using the judges’ “logic” these attacks could continue. Next, they could block birth control because it prevents conception. They may back down from their extreme position because of public outcry, but in the meantime support systems for women have been taken down, doctors are quitting and women and families are being deprived of IVF (in vitro fertilization) and prenatal care that is vital to healthy mothers and infants.

It’s not just a few far-right judges. The mainstream politicians have allowed all these attacks to take place from the U.S. Supreme Court to the Alabama Supreme Court. If the population does not mobilize to fight back, these attacks will keep coming. They won’t stop until we stop them.