Nikki Haley said Wednesday that frozen embryos created through in vitro fertilization are “babies,” agreeing with a recent Alabama Supreme Court decision and revealing that she used artificial insemination to conceive her son.
“To me, embryos are babies,” Haley told NBC News.
Haley, who has spoken generally about her personal struggles with fertility, said she used artificial insemination to have her son Nalin, the second of her two children.
Nikki Haley, in an interview with NBC News (above), sided with an Alabama Supreme Court ruling that declared frozen embryos conceived through IVF to be children under state law.
Artificial insemination is a different process than IVF that does not present the same complexities around creating embryos in a laboratory. But Haley has said that her struggle to have children has influenced her pro-life stance.
‘When you talk about an embryo, for me you are talking about what a life is. And so I see where that comes from when they talk about it,” she told NBC News.
On Friday, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos created through IVF are considered children under state law, raising questions about whether clinics or families could face wrongful death lawsuits if the embryos are destroyed.
It is common to fertilize and store multiple embryos in an IVF procedure given its cost and the toll it can take on a woman’s body.
Haley had two children with her husband Michael Haley after marrying in 1996. Their daughter, Rena, was born in June 1998, while their son, Nalin, was born in September 2001.
In April of last year, during a major speech on abortion rights, Haley spoke about how her fertility struggles influenced her views.
‘Michael and I are fighting to have our own children. I had many challenges as a teenager and in my college years. I went through numerous surgeries. When Michael and I got married, I couldn’t wait to be a mother. But what happened so easily for many of my friends was not my family. We went through countless fertility treatment sessions,’ he said at the time.
‘Every day I wake up and see or talk to my two children. I feel blessed. The best job I’ve ever had is being a mom,” she noted.
Nikki Haley and her husband Michael (center) have two children: Rena (left) and Nalin (right)
Haley, seen with her husband and children when she ran for governor of South Carolina in 2010, has spoken about her personal struggles with fertility.
The Alabama decision has had far-reaching effects as medical centers weigh the legal ramifications of the court ruling.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham announced Wednesday that it would suspend IVF treatments in response to the state Supreme Court ruling.
The hospital system made the call out of fear of possible criminal proceedings and lawsuits directed at its patients and doctors as a result of the ruling.
In a statement, a UAB spokeswoman said they are “saddened that this will affect our patients’ attempt to have a baby through IVF, but we must evaluate the possibility that our patients and our physicians could be criminally prosecuted or face harm.” punitive for following the procedure. standard of care for IVF treatments.’
The pause in procedures will primarily affect the UAB Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.
The court’s ruling last week may pose a significant threat to the growing field of Fertility deals.
UAB is the first clinic to announce it will suspend IVF procedures while officials determine the possible legal consequences of the ruling.
Seven of nine justices on the state’s highest court ruled in favor of the landmark decision, including the chief justice. Tom Parker who cited the Bible and said the ruling would protect “the sanctity of unborn life.”
The University of Alabama at Birmingham hospital system became the first in the state to suspend its IVF treatments following a ruling last week that determined frozen embryos are considered children under the law.
A UAB spokeswoman said they are “saddened that this will affect our patients’ attempt to have a baby through IVF, but we must evaluate the possibility that our patients and our doctors could be criminally prosecuted or face punitive damages for following the Standard of Care for IVF Treatments’
The decision arose as a result of a lawsuit filed by a group of IVF patients whose frozen embryos were destroyed in December 2020, when a patient removed them from a cryogenic storage unit and dropped them on the floor.
“Human life cannot be unjustly destroyed without incurring the wrath of a holy God, who regards the destruction of his image as an affront to himself,” wrote Chief Justice Parker.
“Even before they are born, all human beings bear the image of God, and their lives cannot be destroyed without erasing his glory.”
One judge, Alabama Supreme Court Justice Greg Cook, issued a dissenting opinion, arguing that the decision was based on a 19th-century law that was not designed to take modern measures. Fertility taking into account technology.
The plaintiffs in the IVF clinic case filed two lawsuits against the center where the accident occurred: the Center for Reproductive Medicine.
They allege that the clinic violated Alabama’s Wrongful Death of a Child Act, which applies to unborn babies.
“The relevant legal text is clear: the Wrongful Death of a Child Act applies to all unborn children, without limitation,” the court’s decision stated.
The group also accused the clinic of negligence and sought monetary compensation. This part of his claim is now being considered by the court.