How the Alabama IVF Ruling Could Actually Help Clinics and Parents

If the law is going to see fertilized embryos as children, maybe IVF clinics and parents should get child benefits.

By Drew Despereaux

In February 16th of this year, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that the ‘Wrongful Death of a Minor Act applies to all unborn children’, including fertilized embryos stored in an IVF clinic1, meaning that these embryos are now in fact children. Most people see this as a massive problem for reproductive health, family planning and fertility research.

IVF, In Vitro Fertilization
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Image: US government, Public Domain.

Even some Republicans, including convicted serial rapist Donald Trump, are trying to do damage control on the ruling2. But I see this ‘problem’ as an opportunity in disguise. If the law is going to see fertilized embryos as children, I say that IVF clinics and all those involved should cudgel the law into giving them the benefits they deserve as though they were children.

The most obvious way is for parents to declare these fertilized embryos as dependents, thus lowering their tax burden. People who utilize IVF services will generally freeze multiple embryos to ensure the success of the procedure, which means that a single family can easily generate 3 or 4 extra dependents to claim as tax credits if they wished and generate a healthy passive income from the government.

The only issue is that for the embryo to qualify as a dependent they must have lived with the parent for at least half a year4, but a particularly enterprising IVF clinic could build micro apartments within the building that a parent could claim as an address for 6 months before leaving the property. Of course, they can only use this loophole until the embryos get to 17 years of age (at which point, it’s legally an adult) but worry not, there is still money to be made! This involves a trick that I will affectionately call ‘life insurance grifting’!

If these embryos are children, their parent should be entitled to give them life insurance. And if these ‘children’ were to be brought home by the parents, unfrozen, and exposed to the open air, they would immediately die. A tragedy that nobody could have predicted, I know! Typically, you’re supposed to keep children at room temperature with plenty of breathable air, but I guess I’ll need to keep that in mind next time I’m babysitting someone.

After a suitable period of mourning and a funeral that has slightly more gravitas than flushing your pet fish down a toilet, the parents should wring out as much money from the insurance companies for the death of their children. Some may say that this is ‘a scam’ but I fail to see how. Even the most heartless among the Alabama Supreme Court must agree that the death of a child is a deeply traumatic event and that life insurance companies must comply with their duty to give payment to the legal parents of these fertilized embryos.

This profiteering is not exclusive to these parents, IVF clinics can gain a lot from this too! Many IVF clinics in Alabama are worried about the impact this ruling has in their ability to help the 1-in-6 people impacted by infertility who could greatly benefit from their services6. However, this ruling opens the door to siphoning off money from the federal and state government by reclassifying these clinics as extremely specialized foster homes. By simply storing these embryos, clinics could collect a monthly paycheck from the government at a rate proportional to the number of ‘children’ they’re ‘fostering’.

If there are any enterprising ‘orphanages’ who want to go private and take to investors, the fact that they are in possession of so much human capital means that they’re unfathomably valuable. A human life is worth $10 million3; if an IVF clinic contains a mere 100 fertilized eggs they should easily be valued at a billion dollars from the ‘children’ alone. If all of the IVF clinics in Alabama gather a collective 30,000 fertilized eggs, they would be doubling the GDP of the state5. With that kind of valuation, they would be able to buy out every politician multiple times over and effectively dictate Alabama politics while this ruling is active.

While they are in control of the state of Alabama, they could use their political leverage to give IVF clinics the resources and protections they need to effectively provide their services. After all, if any one of these clinics shuts down or is attacked by a terrorist, the death of these children could cause the event to become the biggest mass death event in the United States since 2001. Any reasonable legislature would spend as much money is necessary to prevent such disastrous events. Unfortunately, the Republican Alabama legislature are the kinds of people who would fail to pass gun reform after a mass shooting of children7 so maybe Big IVF needs to stuff the government with reasonable people before they can get that done.

If you’re thinking that this is all patently ridiculous, first of all you’re being incredibly bigoted towards theocrats and their religious freedom to believe that fertilized embryos and children are the same thing. Second, because I am a neutral third party, I can be objective, neutral, and fair. As someone who does not possess someone who was recently considered a child in the state of Alabama, I can be trusted to give an unbiased take on the matter.

But if you are unconvinced and are frothing at the mouth to allow infertile people the ability to raise a loving family, I suggest you mail soiled condoms to the Alabama Supreme Court at 300 Dexter Avenue, Montgomery, Alabama 36104 as a form of protest. This isn’t considered human trafficking for now so you might want to do that before the Supreme Court decides that ejaculating into a tissue constitutes a mass murder because those are millions of potential babies being killed.









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