LifestyleHealth and Wellness


Two IVF moms 'saddened' over Alabama Supreme Court ruling over frozen embryos

Two Arizona moms share their personal experience with IVF and express heartbreak over the ruling
Posted at 6:47 PM, Feb 28, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-28 20:47:28-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — We're seeing impacts of the groundbreaking Alabama Supreme Court decision trickle across the nation. The court is considering "frozen embryos" as children, essentially giving them personhood and rights.

One cycle of In vitro Fertilization (IVF) ranges between $15,000-$25,000 with no guarantee of success.

That was the reality for one Tucson mom, Jennifer Cárdenas, whose last option to have kids was through IVF.

After she found out her insurance wouldn't cover the hefty price tag, Cárdenas picked up a part-time job at Starbucks for the fertility benefits.

This was her life: school psychologist by day and barista by night.

She says the only thing this ruling has done is cause chaos within the IVF community.

"Even though it's in a different state, you think about 'what would be the implications here in Arizona and how would this affect me and how would this affect other families who are trying to build?'" said Cárdenas.

Right now in Alabama, there is no clarification on when an embryo should be considered an unborn child.

Cárdenas went through two IVF cycles and had twins in 2022.

"A seed does not equal a tree," Cárdenas said. "Embryos aren't living children, they don't live outside of a storage facility or a freezer. If that were the case, then I would have three living children."

Three rounds of IVF— that's what a Gilbert, Ariz. woman put her body through to have her daughter, who's about to turn one.

E-Beth Marshall suffered seven miscarriages and calls this ruling heartbreaking.

"They're essentially saying that these embryos are 'guaranteed life' and anyone that has gone through infertility knows that there's no guarantee with IVF," Marshall said.

Although we aren't seeing the impacts of the ruling in Arizona, Governor Katie Hobbs spoke out on X.

Cárdenas has a message to those feeling lost over the ruling:

"I think that being open with this process is incredibly difficult and so, I think that there are people who are being open about it and you know, I thank them for their bravery," Cárdenas said. "But also the people who are silently going through this too, they are also being very brave. And so, my heart goes out to them."

Both mothers feel strongly that Arizonans should become experts with their health and reproductive rights because it empowers them to advocate for themselves.

Marshall tells me those considering IVF can find financial resources with RESOLVE, The National Infertility Association. RESOLVE also offers a support group search engine here.