February 29, 2024

CMA Praises Alabama Supreme Court Decision Recognizing Right to Life of Embryos


Philadelphia, PA – February 29, 2024 – The Catholic Medical Association (CMA) praises the Alabama Supreme Court for its recent decision recognizing the biological fact that an embryo is a human being from the moment of fertilization, and therefore, upholding the state’s recognition of the right to life for every human being from the moment of conception.

According to the ruling, written by Justice Jay Mitchell, “Unborn children are ‘children’ … without exception based on developmental stage, physical location, or any other ancillary characteristics.” The ruling released Friday, February 23, 2024, was the result of two wrongful death lawsuits brought by couples whose frozen embryos were accidentally killed in the fertility clinic they were preserved in.

“The Supreme Court of Alabama’s ruling not only protects the unborn but also assures parents that their precious embryos have the protection of the law,” said Marie Hilliard, J.C.L,Ph.D., RN., the co-chair of CMA’s Ethics Committee. “But the loss of the human embryos demonstrates the tragic results of separating the sacred space of conjugal relations from the begetting of the gift of procreation.”

The decision also draws much needed attention to the unregulated practices of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other artificial reproductive technologies that create and destroy embryos or freeze them for later experimentation – an unethical and immoral practice CMA opposes.

“IVF allows for the selective destruction of less desirable embryos prior to or after implantation, which is a form of eugenics at the earliest stage of human development,” said Greg. F. Burke, M.D., co-chair of CMA’s Ethics Committee.

Further, Hilliard notes that getting to that point requires the denial of truth.

“The whole language of some in the medical community denies the humanity of the human embryo when they define pregnancy as only occurring after implantation, but there is no such thing as a ‘pre-embryo.’ From the moment of fertilization, the moment the full component of DNA is present in the fertilized ovum, there is a human being in the embryonic stage of development. Every credible biology textbook says this, but for political reasons and to be able to make the unacceptable acceptable, new language is applied to create a false reality,” she explained.

Proponents of IVF and other artificial reproductive technologies claim there is no other way, and yet, NaPro Technology is a fertility-care based medical approach to family planning and gynecological health where the root cause of infertility is identified and treated in an ethical and moral way. NaPro Technology helps couples achieve pregnancy naturally by healing the body first. It has been around for 34 years and has a much higher success rate than IVF (IVF 23% live births per 100; NaPro 53% live births per 100) that does not result in early abortions, frozen embryos or health risks to women.

“NaPro Technology and Fertility Awareness Based Methods provide safer and very effective alternatives, which enable the couple to be in control of this most sacred gift of procreation, not a laboratory technician,” Hilliard said. “They respect the very nature of the gifts of human sexuality and procreation.”


The Catholic Medical Association is a national, physician-led community of 2,600 health care professionals consisting of 119 local guilds. CMA’s mission is to inform, organize, and inspire its members, in steadfast fidelity to the teachings of the Catholic Church, to uphold the principles of the Catholic faith in the science and practice of medicine.

Media inquiries, please contact:

Nadia Smith

Director of Communications

[email protected]


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