Alabama Ruling on Embryos May Have Adverse Impact on Cancer Patients

The American Cancer Society and ACS CAN are Concerned about the Chilling Effect of This Decision on Access to Care and Fertility Services for Cancer Patients

February 23, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C.—February 23, 2024—As organizations dedicated to ending cancer as we know it for everyone, the American Cancer Society and its advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), are deeply concerned about a recent decision by the Supreme Court of Alabama on the status of embryos and the negative impact it may have on cancer patients, survivors and their families. This decision has already caused multiple clinics to pause in vitro fertilization treatments due to fear of criminal and civil liability against providers and patients.  

A statement from Dr. Karen E. Knudsen, CEO of the American Cancer Society and American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) follows: 

“Some cancer treatments can cause infertility, and cancer patients and survivors often rely on IVF to build families after treatment. Fertility preservation care is essential for more than two-thirds of newly diagnosed adolescents and young adults with cancer. The Alabama Supreme Court ruling is already resulting in major legal hazards for providers offering fertility treatments, and health care access challenges for their patients by erecting barriers to care and threatening a person’s ability to preserve fertility prior to initiating cancer treatment or have children after undergoing treatment.”

ACS CAN and partner organizations issued this brief in 2022 with more information on the intersection between cancer and reproductive health. 

Media Contacts

María Rosario González Albuixech
Senior Director, Media Advocacy and Communications