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Alabama frozen embryo ruling ‘carries grave consequences’

Infertility experts are available to speak with the media about the ruling’s implications

CHICAGO --- Following the Alabama Supreme Court’s ruling last Friday that frozen embryos are children, Northwestern Medicine infertility experts are available to discuss what this could mean for the future of in vitro fertilization (IVF) in Alabama and nationally.

“Equating a fertilized egg in a lab with a child born at full term or a fetus gestating in a womb is nonsensical, dangerous and carries grave consequences,” said Dr. Eve Feinberg, associate professor of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a Northwestern Medicine physician.  

Dr. Feinberg and Dr. Emily Jungheim, professor and chief of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Feinberg and a Northwestern Medicine physician, are both available for interviews with the media. Contact Kristin Samuelson at to arrange an interview.

"The painful consequences of Alabama’s Supreme Court decision are already being felt by individuals in Alabama who are involuntarily childless and need IVF," Jungheim said. "It highlights the need for legislators making laws that affect human health to be knowledgeable of human biology and physiology. When those in power don’t have this knowledge and experience, they need to be willing to stand back and trust people to make decisions that are best for them. Anything else is inhumane."

“Roe v. Wade established that fetal protection begins with viability (24 weeks),” Feinberg said. “When Roe was overturned, it opened the doors for the state to legislate. No one really knows ‘when life begins,’ and the Supreme Court shied away from this as it is a religious belief. Catholics believe at fertilization, Muslim and Jewish faiths believe differently. So, this idea that life begins with fertilization and is therefore up for equal protection violates separation of church and state.”

More about the experts:

Dr. Jungheim is the medical director of Northwestern’s Fertility and Reproductive Medicine Center. Nationally she is a member of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology’s Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Division.  

Dr. Feinberg is involved on a national level in the field of reproductive medicine. She is the past president for the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, an editorial editor the journal Fertility and Sterility and sits on the National Medical Committee of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She also is the creator and co-host of Fertility and Sterility On-Air podcast.