Declaring Embryos ‘People’ Devalues Human Life

Though “pro-lifers” think the opposite

Amber Fraley


Isolated embryos and corresponding derived human embryonic stem cells (hESC) clinical-grade lines MUCG01–03

In my quest to understand how the opposition thinks, I’ve been reading the comments of “pro-lifers” on social media in the wake of Alabama’s Supreme Court decision that frozen embryos are “children.”

So, I’ve been trying to understand how someone comes to invest so much emotion into something that is objectively not a human being.

Obviously, many people’s notion that embryo = child is influenced by religion, but I’ve discovered there’s another motivation. Some people are morally offended that with in-vitro fertilization, the extra embryos created that aren’t transferred into uteruses are often experimented on or thrown away. In their minds, this is literally treating human life like trash.

Fair enough. The problem, though, is “natural” conception also treats human life like trash.

It is a fact that at least 60% of fertilized human eggs either never implant, or self-abort. This means any couple trying to have a baby is creating embryos that die.

To me, and like-minded others, there is no difference between embryos dying because of “natural” conception, or dying through the use of in-vitro fertilization.

The difference in “pro-life” minds? Intent. Because couples trying to conceive naturally aren’t trying to kill their embryos, “pro-lifers” argue, those embryos dying don’t count.

I’ve seen “pro-lifers” say IVF is okay if couples have only one embryo created at a time and implanted. Here’s the problem — if you’re only making one embryo at a time, 60% of the time you’re going to get an inferior embryo with zero chance of survival. That’s why IVF labs make a few embryos — so they can choose only the most healthy, robust embryos to transplant and increase the chances of success in creating a viable pregnancy.

The inferior embryos that aren’t implanted either stay frozen, are destroyed at some point, or are used in scientific…



Amber Fraley

Writing about abortion rights, mental illness, trauma, narcissistic abuse & survival, politics. Journalist, novelist, wife, mom, Kansan, repro rights activist.