An Alabama court’s recent decision deeming frozen embryos “extrauterine children” resulted in the shutdown of several prominent IVF clinics. While many conservative Christians were pleased to see the cessation of invitro fertilization in the state, just as many were left confused.

Why would a group who claimed to be “pro-life” and “pro-family” not support a procedure designed to bring a new life into a family?

“I never thought (IVF) was so polarizing. There’s mamas who I just truly believe are meant to be mamas that can’t do it without IVF,” said Hannah Nelson, speaking to the Washington Post. Nelson is part of the 2% percent of Americans who have used IVF to conceive. With IVF now an established component of reproductive medicine, its controversial beginnings have largely been forgotten.

In the Alabama case, a clinic patient wandered into the embryo storage area and accidentally dropped a container of frozen embryos, destroying them. That wouldn’t have happened during the early 1980s at what would become the Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine in Norfolk, Va.

Samuel Marynick, director of the Texas Center for Reproductive Health, remembers his visit there: “Security was present. Different areas of the reproductive center at the institute had doors mislabeled to throw off curious outsiders. For example, the embryology laboratory had a door label that said, ‘Soiled Linen.’”

Read more about the early opposition to IVF at Baptist News Global