Family Devastated Over IVF Ruling, Losing Last Chance for a Second Child

( – An Alabama Supreme Court ruling that embryos are considered children has impacted families across the state, including Elizabeth Goldman, 32, whose IVF treatments were halted after the decision.

Goldman, who was born without a uterus, moved from Mobile to Birmingham in 2021 to enroll in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s (UAB) uterus transplant program. She began the IVF process, and in 2022, she became the first woman in the state and the 36th woman in the United States to undergo a uterus transplant surgery in 2022 as she attempted to make her dream of becoming a mother come true.

In October 2023, she gave birth to her daughter, Zari. Goldman had always hoped to have another baby. However, her treatments at UAB, where her remaining embryos are stored, were halted after the ruling by the state’s Supreme Court, causing a delay in the process that she said her family could not afford. Goldman is on a short timeline to have a second child because she has a transplanted uterus. According to Dr. Kathleen O’Neil, a uterus transplant is temporary, with most women being required to have a hysterectomy to remove the uterus following two live births. O’Neill added that delays in the process “can be harmful to the patient,” who is required to take immunosuppressant drugs because of the transplant.

Without IVF treatments, Goldman said it means her journey to have another child ends.

Dr. Beth Malizia, who works at one of the clinics that paused IVF treatments, Alabama Fertility, said the pause in treatments is making life harder for women who are already struggling with fertility issues.

As many in the state try to process what the ruling means, the Alabama State Senate and the Alabama House of Representatives have proposed legislation to protect clinics from civil lawsuits and prosecution. The goal of the legislation is to reopen IVF clinics immediately, according to the sponsors of the bills, Rep. Terri Collins and Sen. Tim Melson. Lawmakers hope to have the legislation passed for Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey to sign as soon as possible.

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