Center for American Progress

RELEASE: How the Alabama IVF Ruling Is Connected to Upcoming Supreme Court Cases on Abortion 
Press Release

RELEASE: How the Alabama IVF Ruling Is Connected to Upcoming Supreme Court Cases on Abortion 

Washington, D.C. — The extremist judges in the Alabama in vitro fertilization (IVF) ruling are yet another example of how the politicalization of the judiciary is further fueling the politicalization of medicine. A new column from the Center for American Progress reviews the alarming trend of judges seemingly deciding legal cases based on their reported personal and political beliefs over the rule of law at every level of the judiciary. In particular, the column examines three legal decisions currently at the heart of the fight for abortion access and reproductive care: the Alabama IVF case, Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Idaho v. United States

These three cases have more in common than just access to reproductive care; they illustrate intentional choices of the judges sitting at various state and federal courts, seemingly indicating a pattern of judges commandeering the power of the judiciary to assert personal preference over the rule of law. The Alabama IVF decision shows just how far-reaching the consequences of the Dobbs decision are. Chief Justice Tom Parker claims IVF is the “Wild West” of science, choosing outdated academic law journals for his ruling over countless scientific and medical publications from the past quarter-century that emphasize the safety, prevalence, and effectiveness of IVF, as well as the entire established field of reproductive medicine. With approximately 1 million children born through IVF between 1987 and 2015, it’s abundantly clear that this long-established medical procedure is helping people seeking to start or grow a family and is anything but the “Wild West” of medicine. 

The new CAP column reviews how judges have inserted their personal and political biases across these cases by using anti-abortion and religious rhetoric and by cherry-picking evidence that serves their personal ideologies over medical consensus. 

“The Alabama IVF decision did not occur in a vacuum. The Dobbs decision paved the way for every abortion ban, personhood law, and appointment of a far-right judge,” said Sabrina Talukder, director of the Women’s Initiative at CAP. “Extreme judges have been cherry-picking legal evidence that seemingly serves their personal ideologies and are throwing medical experts’ overwhelming consensus out the window. It’s dangerous and threatens medical experts’ efforts to ensure access to safe reproductive care.”

Read the column: “How the Alabama IVF Ruling Is Connected to Upcoming Supreme Court Cases on Abortion” by Sabrina Talukder 

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Sarah Nadeau at [email protected].

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