Southern Baptists Vote to Oppose IVF and Urge U.S. Government to 'Restrain' the Practice

The approved resolution states that embryos are human beings that could be “destroyed” during IVF

<p>Doug McSchooler/AP</p>

Doug McSchooler/AP

Southern Baptists, the country’s largest denomination of Protestant Christians, voted to oppose the use of in vitro fertilization (IVF) during a national convention on Wednesday.

On June 12, more than 10,000 delegates gathered in Indianapolis for the Southern Baptist Convention and voted to approve a resolution “On the Ethical Realities of Reproductive Technologies and the Dignity of the Human Embryo.”

During the convention, several delegates with varying viewpoints gave emotional speeches about their personal experiences with IVF prior to the vote.

The approved resolution states that IVF “participates in the destruction of embryonic human life and increasingly engages in dehumanizing methods for determining suitability for life and genetic sorting.”

It also urges delegates “to reaffirm the unconditional value and right to life of every human being, including those in an embryonic stage, and to only utilize reproductive technologies consistent with that affirmation, especially in the number of embryos generated in the IVF process.”

This vote is not a ban and will have no effect on families pursuing fertility treatments. However, the resolution encourages people to “advocate for the government to restrain actions inconsistent with the dignity and value of every human being, which necessarily includes frozen embryonic human beings.”

Related: Mother’s IVF Journey Halted Due to Alabama Ruling: 'Our Sadness Turned to Complete Anger' (Exclusive)

Ted Horowitz/Getty
Ted Horowitz/Getty

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

In vitro fertilization is a medical procedure that provides a possible solution for women who have difficulty getting pregnant. It involves retrieving eggs from the ovaries and combining them with sperm in a lab to create fertilized embryos. The embryos can then be transferred into the uterus in an attempt to create a pregnancy. IVF is done in cycles and one full cycle takes about two to three weeks.

The Southern Baptist Convention’s vote follows the Alabama Supreme Court's February 16 ruling that frozen embryos are now legally considered children in the state. The decision came as a result of a wrongful death lawsuit brought by couples whose frozen embryos were destroyed at a fertility clinic in December 2020 when a patient entered a cryogenic nursery storage unit and removed several embryos.

Due to the decision, “no healthcare provider will be willing to provide treatments if those treatments may lead to civil or criminal charges,” American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) said in a statement condemning the ruling. 

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.