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Alabama Supreme Court Sets New Record for Anti-Women Theocratic Lunacy

On February 16, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos—tiny clusters of cells barely visible to the human eye—are children, full human beings with legal rights! Frozen embryos are used for IVF (in vitro fertilization). IVF is a process to help people who are having difficulty getting pregnant have children.1

A multi-celled human embryo.


Embryo    Photo: AP

Children ring around in a circle.


Actual children    Photo: AP

Can you tell the difference between these two pictures?

How does the Alabama Supreme Court know this? Because “God” said so! The Chief Justice of the court, Tom Parker, in a lengthy “concurring opinion,” spent 10 pages analyzing passages from the Bible and from Biblical scholars from the 13th century. Based on that, he concludes that: “Even before birth, all human beings have the image of God, and their lives cannot be destroyed without effacing his glory.” He talks about “incurring the wrath of a holy God.” He quotes the Biblical “prophet” Jeremiah: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you." 

This is a radically reactionary ruling. Wielding the Bible as a source of legal authority is a horror! And it opens the door wide to establishing theocratic rule in the U.S. where religious authorities “interpret” “god’s will” and establish and enforce laws on that basis. It also completely shreds what's supposed to be a foundational principle of American law—the separation of church and state. 

It is no accident that this is coming down around women’s reproductive rights. The fascists believe that restoring traditional gender roles in which women stay at home and take care of children, dependent on and dominated by their husbands, is a key link in restoring America’s mythological “greatness.” Depriving women of the right and ability to determine if and when to have children, by banning abortion, IVF, and birth control is central to this. 

The Bible is virtually a handbook for the subjugation of women, with its lunatic claim that the pain of childbirth is women’s punishment for Eve’s sin of eating the fruit of knowledge in the Garden of Eden; its instruction for women to submit to their men; its guidance that women who are believed not to have been virgins before marriage should be stoned to death, and on and on.2

Alabama Supreme Court Says Embryos Are People, Women Are Not

In saying that embryos are human beings, the Court means that women are not! No, it treats women’s rights as subordinate to (less than) the “rights” of embryos and fetuses. If applied more widely, this could mean the end of birth control or abortion which, by the logic of this ruling would be considered killing a child! This insanity is already established or is being pushed in 16 states. But this is wrong! Fetuses and embryos are NOT babies! Abortion is NOT murder! Women are NOT incubators!

There is another dangerous side to this: According to UC Davis law professor Mary Ziegler, the accumulation of state laws and judicial rulings that embrace “fetal personhood” in different ways3 is part of a strategy to get the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that fetal personhood is protected by the federal constitution. If this happened, all abortion would be illegal throughout the U.S., regardless of any state or federal laws meant to protect it. This ruling is a big step in that direction.

Bob Avakian on the Overturning of Roe, Christian Fascism & Revolution 
An Excerpt from the Bob Avakian Interviews on The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show

This System Has No Right to Rule!

Christian fascists have been fighting to impose a Christian theocracy through the vehicle of Trump’s MAGA fascist movement, and increasingly they are saying it out loud. On the same day that the IVF ruling was issued, the fascist Chief Justice Parker appeared on a QANON show advocating for imposing fundamentalist Christian values on all aspects of U.S. life. Parker said “God created government,” and it’s “heartbreaking” that “we have let it go into the possession of others.”4,5

Think about that! In 2024, this is what this system is bringing forward: Dark Ages ghouls running society. 

At a moment in history where humanity has developed the basis to meet the basic needs of the people of the world... where we have the scientific tools to discover the largest galaxies and the smallest particles... all that is being fetteredheld backby a system that is basing its law on oppressive anti-science texts written thousands of years ago!

This is lunacy—and a product of this system! And THIS is what is gaining momentum and initiative in this country! No one should tolerate this system for one more day. And no one should stand aside from the fight to end this the only way it can be ended—revolution. 

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1. IVF also enables women to freeze and store embryos when they are younger and more likely to be healthy and viable, and then to implant them at a later stage of their lives when infertility can become more of a problem. 

IVF involves physicians taking eggs from the woman, inseminating them with sperm in a lab setting, allowing the newly fertilized eggs (embryos) to grow for a few days, and then injecting the one that seems healthiest into the woman’s uterus so it can hopefully attach to the uterine wall and develop normally. The process is very expensive and works at best about half the time. About one baby in 50 born in the U.S. is conceived through IVF. [back]

2. For more on this, see “The Bible, Taken Literally, Is a Horror” and “Christian Fundamentalists, Christian Fascists,” by Bob Avakian. [back]

3. Things like criminalizing miscarriages by saying they resulted from unhealthy lifestyles, or charging people for two murders if they kill a pregnant woman, as if the fetus were a separate human being. [back]

4. Another example: Christian fascist Congresswoman Lauren Boebert said that "The church is supposed to direct the government, the government is not supposed to direct the church.”  [back]

5. Just days after the Alabama ruling, Tennessee enacted a law permitting public officials to refuse to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies—even though these marriages were legalized nationally by a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision.  [back]

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